Hello everyone! My name is Britney Otero, I'm 17 years old and I'm a missionary. I've been a missionary since I was 15, I know not very long, but it changed my life. It all started when I was in the Dominican Republic in a city called Sosua. My mom, other missionaries, and I went to orphanages, little churches, and pueblos. We met so many little kids and played with them all day, it was the best birthday present I had ever received and still is. I learned all of their names, played with their hair, and even bought them little toys. But there was this one boy who stood out more from the others because he had a little tennis ball, it was super dirty, and lost its furry consistency. All of the little kids were jealous of him and were so angry, they beat him up for it. I didn't understand why they were so jealous, it was just a dirty ball, it wasn't worth anything, but when I thought about it, that ball meant so much because it was something they didn't have. The little boy with the ball was so happy and I didn't get it. Something with such little worth meant so much to them - to him. That made me come to realize..I was selfish. I wanted more and more even when I had it all, but these kids were happy even with the thought of having a ball, that little boy was so happy with that ball because it was all he had. That mission trip taught me not to take things for granted and rejoice with what I have. I didn't know how much of an affect little kids could have on me, but they changed my perspective tremendously and for that, I would to love visit them again and bless them like they blessed me. I loved to help people, but from that experience I learned that loving and helping was my purpose. It felt good to see little kids smiling just because of my presence. The next day, they all ran to me and jumped on me. There was so many kids, I lost my balance and fell on the floor and was flooded with kisses and hugs. After that, my family and I loved changing lives so much, we decided to become missionaries and move from Florida to St.Croix, Virgin Islands with a church corporation called City Reach. Our purpose as a church, as a community, and as a family is to love on others and show the love of Jesus to those who are lost or those who just want to get to know him. We want to plant the seed into those who are blinded by the world. We know we can't force anyone to believe in God, it's their choice if they will let the seed flourish, or let it become bird food. No matter who they are or what they have done in their past, we will love on the people of this island and of this world. People will push us away, or even forbid us, but that won't stop us from loving other people how Jesus loved/loves us. The endless faith we have in God won't stop us from spreading his love and word. As Christian missionaries, many people think that we are strict or just shove God down people's throats, but that's not it at all. Our purpose is to show God's word to those who don't know him intimately and love on the hurt and damaged. Our purpose is to be there for people, no matter who they are. Our purpose is to reach out to the city, to the people..to the souls. Our plan is to change life by life, heart by heart, and soul by soul. As a family, we have been in rock bottom before, we know what it's like to struggle and be hungry, but we have a desire in our hearts to travel so that way we can prevent people from going through the same thing. We aren't a perfect family, perfect people, or even a perfect church, but we have so much lives to touch and hearts to love on. There is so much brokenness on this island, and this world needs to be put back together. We can't do this alone, we need help from those who want to see a change too, from those who want the community to be more unified, from those who want to see joy and happiness in everyone. You don't have to be a Christian to give, but just a person who wants change and more love in this life and in this world. God bless and thank you so so so much for donating or not, hope you enjoyed our/ my story.