“Kids don’t have shoes, but they have big smiles,” says Kaylee Nemeth, PA-C, who has long-lasting memories of cheerful beaming smiles from her mission trip to Zambia in June 2023.
“People in Zambia live in the poorest of conditions, but they are some of the happiest people I’ve been around,” she adds.
While studying to be a physician’s assistant at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, Kaylee fell in love with serving others in a foreign country. In fact, she chose the school because it offered the opportunity for mission work.
Her first mission trip to Haiti changed her life and now she’s been to Haiti five times, and she just completed her first trip to Zambia, in Southern Africa.
“The reason I went into medicine was to serve others,” she explains. “Those of us in an occupation where we are in service of others, we do it because we have a servant’s heart. In my job, I can serve people every day.”
She adds that these trips offer a renewed sense of humanity. “Many kids there don’t have shoes and we gave them flip-flops. They would just hold the shoes in their arms because they didn’t want to wear them. They wanted to protect them.”
She’ll never forget a young 18-year-old man brought to the clinic by his mom. “He was in a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy. No one had told him about the importance of exercises or foot orthotics. We got him foot orthotics to help him use a walker and it was awesome to see his excitement when he could walk. His new functionality completely changes how he lives his life.”
Kaylee learned about Family Legacy Mission International’s opportunity for mission work in Zambia through her church. “Family Legacy’s programs focus on helping children not only with academics, but their spiritual, physical, and emotional needs. There’s a wellness center with nurses and playgrounds the kids love.”
One of the Family Legacy programs is the Tree of Life’s Children’s Village for kids who face impossible situations. “These kids become your kids because you see them beyond just a one-time clinic visit,” she explains. “The kids are so excited to see us, and we make sure they are not forgotten.”
Family Legacy’s goal is to empower vulnerable and orphaned children in Zambia to live out their God-given potential. “The people of Zambia are always grateful,” she says, “and you can see God at work by how far they have come.”
Kaylee describes Zambia as a rugged, pretty country where it’s hot in the summer with lots of dust and sand. Many children have allergies and asthma.
“Living in the United States, we are so blessed. People don’t need to travel to a different county to be of service,” she says. “If you have a servant’s heart, you can help in your community, or help a neighbor or in your workplace. You can always use your gifts to serve others.”
Because of her selfless spirit, it’s no surprise Kaylee wants to return to Zambia next summer.
• In Zambia, 54.5% of the people live below the poverty level.
• There are nearly 950,000 orphans and vulnerable children.
• www.familylegacy.com offers opportunities to serve the orphaned children of Lusaka, Zambia.