It has been an overwhelming... few days? I don't even know what day it is now. I left Lincolnton at 2 oclock in the morning on the 26th and headed toward Atlanta. From Atlanta, I had a two hour flight to DC. From DC, a twelve hour flight to Addis Ababa and then a two hour flight to Nairobi. From Nairobi, we took a three hour bus ride to Naivasha.
WHEW. I mean, thank you JESUS that I didn't have to be in charge of travel arrangements. And then I think there is an 8 hour time change? I don't know. What I do know is that I am SO thankful that I have tiny legs and the most amazing ability to sleep anywhere. These two things make really long plane rides not too bad. From the exhaustion of the days leading up to my trip, I literally slept the ENTIRE time, minus the few times I woke with food in front of me.
I have been so blessed so far. My travels were the smoothest I think they have ever been and without a single hiccup. I can't say the same for some of my teammates, but I know that we are all safe and will be united tomorrow. My team members seem great-- but I have to laugh to myself because we are still "strangers." I know that after our first day of service together we will forever be a family.
When I stepped of the bus in Naivasha, my heart exploded inside. My feet were on African soil. I couldn't believe it. So many prayers. I was so thankful for all the support that got me here. and I was so excited about all the BIG things that are going to happen while I am here. And all the people that I will meet. All the children I get to play with. And all the miracles that I get to see happen. There is a lot of room for Jesus to move around here, and I like that.
My brain is scattered with all sorts of thoughts. But My prayer is this, and I ask that you join with me. Its simple, and short.
But, Jesus. I need you.
I pray for rest tonight. FULL BODY AND MIND REST. I want my team and I to wake up refreshed and ready to do your work. We need peace... our bodies and brains and minds and spirits have just been through a whirlwind... so tonight, I pray for peace.
I was greatly encouraged by my dear friend Mary tonight. She quoted this....
"People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I've noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: They hold the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, and that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren't determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they're satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world."
My prayer is for a peaceful nights rest and for tomorrow, the eyes the ONE person.
Love, and grace.
It has been a glorious weekend! I just wanted to share a few shots of my studio (or my front porch ! ). I am hoping to get these finished and on the website soon!
I have been greatly encouraged in the last few days! I have received letters, emails, facebook messages and phone calls all encouraging me on this mission. Thank You So much! One of the greatest ways I believe that I am loved is through the written word-- I appreciate that my friends know that!
I love seeing how things fall into place. It has been beautiful and wonderful and most certainly, humbling to receive donations from my friends.
This past week at church the pastor quoted the movie "We Own a Zoo." He was talking about how sometimes we just need 20 seconds of insane courage, of embarrassing bravery. And something great will come of it.
I've had just a few 20 second moments in my life, but great things have indeed always come from it. I am excited to see the Great things happen on this great adventure.
I have been thinking about this trip for years. I remember coming home from college my freshmen year and telling my parents that I wanted to go to Africa; I also clearly remember their reaction. (AFRICA?! are you kidding? You go to college for just a little bit.. and OH MY!) My parents will always support me, but I know they were glad things didn't quite work out like I wanted. Hindsight is always so wise. I went on a different trip that year that was beautiful and wonderful and life-changing, but I did not go to Africa.
All through college I prayed about it, talked about it, thought about it.. did everything except GO to Africa.
Well. Here is my time. Jesus says to GO and LOVE and DO. I can no longer wait for the "perfect" time to go; when everything is lined up and all the ducks are in a row. The perfect time is always right now. SO.
the trip is DECEMBER 26-JANUARY 4
total cost: $3,500
I have a lot of preparation for this trip. It is always daunting to raise money for a mission trip. It is so easy to forget that Jesus is SO much bigger than money. However, I know the money will come in. that is the LEAST of my worries.
The most preparation I need is in the area of my heart. It has been a while since I have been in a service environment. Since I have been stretched. and uncomfortable. I am praying that the Lord will begin to shape my heart and that I will ache for change. Change in myself. to be more like Jesus. and that my heart will be laden with the needs of the people that will be encountered on this trip. I do not want to arrive in Kenya and begin work. I want work to start right now... in the hearts of my teammates, of myself, and of the people in Kenya.