Meet Nike (Knee-Kay) Ohonme, a millennial who chose to dedicate part of her summer to a Samaritan’s Feet (SF) mission trip where she and seven other volunteers served 500 local orphans and service men by washing their feet and distributing the (SF) World Shoe; and hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (the largest freestanding mountain in the world and highest mountain in Africa at 19,341 ft) in celebration of the 15-year anniversary of SF. To date, SF has provided pairs of shoes to nearly seven million children in more than 90 nations.
Nike, the only millennial woman on the hiking team, shares with her millennial peers how the experience challenged her spiritually, emotionally and physically; and motivated her to continue pushing to spread impact across the world by helping to bridge generational, racial, and social gaps.
What was the motivation behind your decision to go on the mission trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro with Samaritan’s Feet?
Nike: I wanted to do something big; something that would make me challenge myself to new physical, emotional and spiritual heights. I was needing more for myself. This trip was a way for me to achieve those things; all while supporting my parents and their 15 years of global service.
Talk about any reflective moments or feelings you had while hiking and reaching the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Nike: The first reflective moment was the realization of my insignificance outside of the saving grace of Christ. At nighttime, I left my tent to do something, stopped to look up at the sky, and I was memorized by the Milky Way; the number of stars that danced in the sky and how grand they were. How majestic and how the Lord had created them all for his glory. I was created for the same purpose. I was reminded of how insignificant my first world problems were when I took the time to step out of my own box to appreciate creation and purpose. Another reflective moment was on our summit day, I got very sick in our way to the peak of Kilimanjaro. My team rallied around to encourage each other (and me). We truly had each other’s back while spending six days hiking; creating a special bond being our most vulnerable selves. I will cherish that forever.
What did you do mentally, physically and spiritually to prepare for the mission trip?
Nike: Lots of cardio, eating healthily and praying. I came into this with very little expectation of what it would take to accomplish a feat so intimidating. I was surprised at how much of it was mental; not just physical.
Talk about your experience hiking Africa’s largest mountain.
Nike: Mt. Kilimanjaro is a beast, one to be respected. There were many times I literally stopped and thought “we’re actually climbing this thing, in this moment. And no one forced me.” The six other individuals who journeyed with me were incredible. The team was intimate. We had an array of ages represented, from mid 60’s to mid-twenties, all from different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds. We were full of diversity. I believe this helped us bond, relate and learn. We truly were able to push and pull off each other’s energy and encouragement. It would have been impossible without them.
Were there any challenges on the hike that you faced and how did you overcome them?
Nike: Besides the physical and emotional barriers I had to knock down to keep hiking, the spiritual journey had the biggest toll. This may be quite personal, but was very important on my quest to the summit. I began the trip believing I could receive answers on certain areas of my life that needed clarity. I craved answers, and through introspection, I had some hard questions to ask God like ‘who I am?’ and ‘what did I need to change in my 24-year old heart and mind?’ What I left with was the realization that my firm three-year relationship with an amazing guy needed to come to an end. I felt in my heart we needed to part ways. This hit me after only six days of self-reflection, intimacy in praying and talking to Jesus with no distractions from anyone or anything. I feel as if I’m supposed to share this because I think it’s important to note that, even in planning and expectations, challenges will always arise. It’s not about how we react but how we respond to taking the hill one day at a time. This realization challenged and strengthened me.
Any advice to other millennials about finding their passion?
Nike: Go for it! I think a lot of times it’s super easy to over spiritualize things and wait on someone else to do what we feel we should do. We’re gonna fail and that’s absolutely okay! I heard it once said, ‘if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’ Don’t be a victim, don’t make excuses, and be true to yourself. Be kind and respectful. I know for a fact you’ll find your purpose in seeking the Lord and taking the time to be patient. Good things come in time with lots of hard work, patience, and determination.
Given the current climate of the U.S., where issues such as racism and families being separated are prevalent, how do you feel your efforts are sowing positivity back into the world?
Nike: I’m at an advantage being a follower of Christ. I truly want to love people passionately and see them thrive. I’m not saying you have to be in order to see change because we’re all capable; but when we love with the love of Christ without expectation or agenda; when your heart is positioned to serve people without a need to receive, or even be seen; and move in your sphere of influence, change happens one community at a time. I’ve always been testy, pushed buttons, and disliked injustice. I think it doesn’t take much to do small things consistently. I try doing that each day, to show love through action like washing feet and giving away shoes. I’m not perfect at it but I think I’m headed off to a good start.
What advice would you give your millennial peers who are troubled by the negativity they see in the world and wonder how they can make a positive impact?
Nike: Keep your chin up, don’t complain, and don’t give! Go and do something in the name of love. Do your research. Learn and find out what you’re actually fighting for. We get excited. Millennials are a passionate group of individuals who love hard and are tired of words. We want action. We need to be sure that, in acting in passion, we’re helping and not hurting.
Having had this global experience, what philanthropic efforts will you do next?
Nike: I don’t think there’s a next. I think it’s living everyday life on-mission to seek and serve others who are just as, or less fortunate than myself.
Is there anything you’d like to share with your peers?
Nike: If you haven’t taken the time to self-reflect, to be still, to intentionally unplug for a small amount of time, you should! Comparison kills compassion. The pressures of life make it easy to think less of ourselves. We’re more than conquerors in Christ Jesus, whether you realize that yet or not. My prayer is that you take the time to get to know yourself better and what your next season of life has for you. I don’t think it takes a mountain to uncover that truth; although it’s a super fun and challenging way to do it, and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!
This post was created with our nice and easy submission form. Create your post!