Ellie: Where is she now?

BY 30 HOUR FAMINE TEAM

Hey there! My name’s Ellie, I like trampolines, being crafty and eating. Oh, and helping those in need, which landed me on a plane to Burundi with the 2011 Study Tour! It’s crazy to realize it has been over a year since our adventure. Traveling to Burundi broke my heart for the poor in a way that that I’ll, gladly, never recover from. I realized there I must commit my life to serving God and the poor, and that’s what I’ve been honored to do this last year post-Burundi.

I graduated from high school in June of 2011 and took a year off before starting college. The past 10 months have been an absolutely amazing adventure God has taken me on and I’d love to share with you about it!

Last fall I interned at World Vision with the 30 Hour Famine team. Click here to hear more about my intern experience, and get information if you’re interested in interning at World Vision! World Vision is an awesome organization that is doing great things in communities all around the world. At their HQ in Washington, I learned heaps, made stellar friends and adapted moderately well to cube life.

From dreary Washington I headed to the skin cancer capitol of the world, northern Australia. It was there I spent 5 months with Youth With a Mission. YWAM is a Christian organization dedicated to character development and mobilizing youth to make a difference for God around the world, pretty rad! The other students and I wrestled with issues relating to our faith and encountered God in some crazy ways. The school I participated in with YWAM was focused on human trafficking. We learned about God’s heart for slavery and traveled Australia spreading awareness about this issue!

With YWAM I had the opportunity to spend six weeks in Cambodia. It was a sweaty, eye-opening, confronting, incredible time. Our team partnered with organizations that combat sex trafficking in Cambodia. Traveling to Burundi, hunger and extreme poverty became real to me. In Cambodia, pedophilia, sex tourism and sex trafficking became very real. It wasn’t just a documentary anymore; I saw these things with my own eyes and I’ll never be able to deny that this evil exists.

However, we witnessed so much hope in Cambodia as well. There are countless individuals working to bring Christ, healing, opportunities, jobs and essentially life to women who have been exploited. Check out some of them here! : Bloom café, employs women rescued out of sex trafficking, Precious Women Ministries and She Rescue Home.

Transitioning home from Australia and Cambodia, this summer I’ve been channeling my heart for the poor into an internship with HOPE International. HOPE is a Christian microfinance organization that works to address physical and spiritual poverty. Soon I will be leaving to start my first year at Calvin College, studying International Development and Business. God moved in huge ways in my life this last year. Everything I’ve experienced has solidified my desire to empower the poor, giving them a hand up and not a hand out. I’m excited to see what’s next!

Ellie was a part of Team Burundi on the 2011 Study Tour. Her story of how she is letting God lead her life is truely inspirational to many of us on the Famine team, and we can’t wait to see where He takes her in life. You can also follow Ellie on Twitter to learn more about who she is and where God leads her: @EllieHutchison

Stay tuned for future posts throughout the week from students on Study Tour 2012 and what they are experiencing in Zambia!