Halifax Co., VA - The Hassells call South Africa their home now, but their story started not too far from here.
Halifax County native Sarah Eanes was in Raleigh, North Carolina when she met Mitch Hassell at a local church group.
Sarah left for a two year missions trip in South Africa. When she returned, she and Mitch decided to get married, and they say God called them back to finish what Sarah had started."We have partnered with a local church there and really immersed ourselves. Sarah and I do the youth program at that church and it's really growing," Mitch said.
The couple trained with a group called Youth With a Mission, and they say they've been able to minister to dozens of young people.
"It's a place where they know people love them and trust them, and they can kind of grow in that, " Mitch said.
The transition has not been easy. The cost of basic necessities can be very high and Sarah says the birth of their daughter Nyomi has made her homesick at times.
"That's the biggest thing I miss about living in the states is not having my family nearby, " said Sarah, but when times get tough, Mitch says they use this reminder as a way to stay on track.
"Remember what the Lord has asked you to do, and if he asks you 'Hey, go to South Africa', then no matter what happens, you know you're going to make it, " he said.
The couple is here visiting until August. They say they will continue to stay in South Africa until they are called somewhere else.