Monday, January 9, 2012

africa mission trip

i'm going to africa in july.

i admit i'm still battling some nerves as i begin to share the news with others. the furthest I've traveled from the comforts of home is the Carribean, and it certainly wasn't travel for the purpose of serving others but to be served and pampered on vacation :) i've never even been on a mission trip. visting East Africa will be a whole new world for this spoiled city girl. certainly a leap out of my comfort zone!

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3

let me give you a little history to fill you in on how this desire came about....

last summer a dear friend from our sunday school class, and her son traveled with kelly global to uganda, africa for her 3rd year to serve, among others, an orphanage of children with AIDS. they travel with doctors and dentists who set up clinics in very remote areas to offer medical care to very sick africans who may have never received medical attention in their life. they also spent time in the schools speaking about AIDS awareness, abstitence, and sharing God's word.

our sunday school class gathered vitamins, shoes, and clothes to send with Jen and Robert last summer. i helped Jen sew small stuffed bears for each of the 40 children living in the orphanage. it was truly heart opening for me... to think something I cut and sewed from my fabric stash would end up in the arms of a precious orphan child half a world away. touched me BIG.

growing up my mom and paternal grandmother were excellent seamstress. mom made me and my siblings matching outfits. and she even went on to own a quilt shop or two, and is an excellent quilter. my grandma Mandy made doll clothes for us, and worked at a fancy dress shop in Springfield, Mo up until the day she passed away. needless to say, i have picked up their love of sewing.

when Jen returned from africa she set up a slideshow to share pictures and stories from their trip to our sunday school class. after the presentation I told her I wanted to go back with her to teach the girls in the orphanage how to sew. Jen smiled so big! Ms. Agnes, who runs the orphanage, mentioned to Jen right before she left that she had two sewing machines in storage, but no one knew how to use them. ironic? uh no, for sure a God thing!
i want to go to africa to be stretched beyond MYSELF. i would be honored to have the opportunity to serve others in a third world country. share the gospel, lend a hand teaching young girls to sew, hug a child or fifty, give my time to a country who suffers greatly. in short be the hands and feet of Jesus to a small amount of God's african people who suffer much, and have so little. jen says we're even planning to build the orphanage a chicken coop. amazing! i believe this trip will be life changing for me and my family. i will have the gift of an experience like no other to share with my boys, and in turn minister to their hearts what it really looks like to give of yourself to be more Christ-like. they've seen pictures. they are getting it. they are blessed beyond the majority of other children in this world.
as many of you know my family had a tough year in 2011. adam was unemployed for 6 months, my brother and nephew were critically wounded in october... economically almost everyone in my family has struggled this year. but yet we are still blessed beyond comparision. none of us are homeless. we have clean running water, electricity and at least a few meals a day.
i share this here on my blog to ask for your prayers and support. prayers to calm my fears of the unknown, and a peace that only faith in Him will provide. prayers to willing lay down my rights on this mission journey to comfort and the norm, and wholly give up to God permission to do anything He wishes to me, with me, in me, or through me, that would glorify Him. (paraphrased/quote from Kelly Green release of rights)
it's going to cost a minimum of $3,500 for me to travel there. this includes airfare, transportation, and modest accomodations and food while there for 10 days. in addition, i will need funds to receive necessary immunizations for yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, Malaria, Meningitis, Rabies and Typhoid fever. a cost that could be as much as $1,500.
if you feel led to make a monetary donation on my behalf i would be so grateful. all donations are tax deductible. (you will receive a statement directly from kelly green at the end of the year.) please make checks payable to Kelly Green Global , put my name in the memo portion, and mail them directly to me. this will allow me to keep track of funds raised towards my trip costs. i will mail your checks directly Kelly Green Global. i will also be collecting vitamins to take. i will happily take those any way you can get them to me. click the Email Me link at the top of my blog front page and i will provide you my mailing address. look for lots more information about this mission trip in the coming weeks and months here on my blog. i have several other ideas in the works for raising funds, including photography mini-sessions in february, march and april. {fun photo shoots centered around celebrating valentine's day, easter, mother's day}

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

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