For a fourth time, Kayla Puterbaugh, 24, will travel to Africa to work with children in Uganda, staying for three months starting in January.
After hearing a missionary family speak at a Christian camp she went to during middle school, before her family moved to Fort Scott after she finished high school, Puterbaugh said her desire to visit Africa became even more real to her.
“I’ve just always loved it since I was a kid,” Puterbaugh said of Africa and her fascination with the idea of traveling there.
That desire was realized when she went on a 10-day medical trip in 2010, helped at an orphanage and as a nanny for that same missionary family for six months in 2011, and again went there this past August for a month.
The most recent trip, Puterbaugh spent two of those weeks working with Ruja, translating to “to dream,” an organization started by a friend of hers out of Idaho a couple years ago. This time, she will spend the full three months partnering with that group to help take care of five foster children.
“Long-term I want to be working with an organization that goes to Africa,” Puterbaugh said, saying she enjoys being with the children, caring for them and letting them know they are important. “I’m not positive if I want to live there full-time or not, but I definitely want to be going.”
Puterbaugh needs a total of $3,000 for her upcoming trip and will hold a bingo fundraiser Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. at the Common Ground Coffee Co., where she is a barista, to help raise some of that money. Participants give a donation for each bingo card, with prizes including baked goods and even gift certificates donated by local business.
“I know it’s a big number, but I also know God can provide it,” Puterbaugh said. “God just keeps supplying every time I’m ready to go.”
Those interested can find more details of her trip and make donations at https://www.gofundme.com/hs78yvp4