*Today is THE Day*

Today I will board a plane going to South Africa.  I will leave behind my husband and family, and {most of} the comforts of home.  I will be stretched in ways that I do not yet even know and will meet dozens of new people whose lives are drastically different than mine.

Today I will be obedient to the call that Christ has placed on each of our lives—to go!  I’m still nervous and scared; but the excitement that others have for me is catching.

I know that the people of Malawi will probably teach me more than I could ever hope to teach them, but I do hope and pray that the Lord would use me to bless those I interact with in some small way.

What an adventure I have before me!  If you would like to read about our progress, please click here to head over to Summit’s blog where they will have some {probably sporadic} updates.  Please keep my team in your prayers, as well as the children and families to whom we will be ministering.  I can’t wait to share all about my trip when I return home.  Thank you for your partnership!!!!

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Status Post Packing Party

Last night was our group packing party where we put all of our donations and supplies together to take with us.  We packed 28+ suitcases of donations and supplies and had a good time getting to know each other a little better.

Thank you to everyone who gave me donations!!!

You can't see all of the suitcases... but there are 28+!!

Bit by bit I’m getting more excited about going.  My bags are pretty much packed, all I have left is to make sure that my carry-ons are ready to go!  Less than 24 hours to go!!!

Checklist

Stuff I have ready to be packed:

  1. Immunizations
  2. Passport
  3. Water bottle that filters out cholera and the like
  4. Donations
  5. Snacks (including peanut M&Ms) for the plane ride and trip 🙂
  6. Samples sizes of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, and contact lens solution
  7. Backup pair of prescription eyeglasses
  8. Contact lenses
  9. Steroid drops and artificial tears
  10. Antibiotics, pain and allergy medication, probiotics
  11. Feminine hygiene products
  12. Baby wipes
  13. Camera and charger
  14. Brush
  15. Deodorant
  16. Toothbrush
  17. Shoes
  18. Leggings
  19. Bible
  20. Journal
Stuff I still need to get:
  1. More long skirts and blouses
  2. Socks
  3. Another pair of shoes that I can leave there
  4. More leggings
  5. Anything else???

Countdown

One week until I leave for Malawi!

I can’t believe that the trip is so close already—where did all of the time go?

I feel like I have so much to do before I leave, but now I can’t actually think of what those things might be.

I can’t believe I leave in seven days!!!

Ridiculous Grace

Why do I continue to doubt God?  For serious.  He absolutely has called me to on this trip to Malawi and so I know that He will provide, but I continue to doubt!  And in spite of my doubt, He showers me with ridiculous grace.

I was feeling very down and sorry for myself when I wrote my last post—sorry about that—and today God just about knocked me over with grace in spite of myself.  No, I still won’t be able to communicate with Andrew while I’m overseas, but we’ll survive.  And in spite of my worries about finances, a dear friend and her husband felt led to give a substantial gift, and I’ve also received some generous gifts from family as well.

As I type this, I am still bowled over in disbelief and thankfulness.

Thank You, Lord for Your endless mercies.  You are so good to me!!!  Thank You for the honor of going on this trip, please help me to remember to trust You when I feel insecure—You are so much bigger than my insecurities!

Fishing

You know that verse “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7)?  That always brings fishing to my mind.  I’ve really only fished once, but I remember not being very good as casting my line.  I was just a little kid and was unable to throw that lure very far; in the same way, I am still very terrible at casting my anxiety very far.

Today was our last informational meeting regarding my upcoming trip to Malawi before our big packing “party” a few days before we leave.  I don’t know what I expected walking in, but certainly not more anxiety.

I knew that I would not have phone/internet access regularly and that calling home would be a rare occurrence, but I did not expect that I would have zero contact with my husband for the duration of the trip.  Nope.  That was a curveball.  Our group leaders will be blogging about our trip as they are able, but there will be no personal communication—at all.  I know it’s only 12 days, but I’ve never gone that long without talking to Andrew in the 6 years that we have been together.  During the meeting after this lack of communication was revealed, I felt my face getting red and my body breaking out into a cold sweat; I was trying so hard to keep it together in front of 30 people but I’m pretty certain that I still looked visibly upset.

Also, the only recommended bug spray has DEET in it.  DEET scares me.

We’re going to be swimming in Lake Malawi.  I was told by a South African physician “Do not get in the water!”  The other nurse on the trip was told the same thing; although when I asked about this at today’s meeting they said that they’ve never had problems.  Still don’t know what that will mean for us once we’re there, though.

At the end of the meeting they took everyone aside individually to talk about the balance owed.  It’s very overwhelming to have someone ask you how you plan to pay for the remainder of the balance.  Oh, and it’s due July 27.

Yup, I’m feeling like a very bad fisherman right now.  Please pray that I would relinquish my fears and allow our Mighty God to do His work.

Zip Line!

Today my whole family ventured out to go zip lining for my Dad’s birthday/Father’s Day gift.  In a large family with adult children, it can be very difficult to get everyone together, and since we were all there today, that just made it all the more special.

Since we live in Florida and it is summer, I was half expecting to have to get a rain check because of, well, rain.  However, the bad weather held off until the drive home and we had a great time zip lining!  Although it was hot, it certainly wasn’t as hot and humid as it could have been, which meant a much more enjoyable time for us.

Zip lining was great, but another cool thing about the ranch the line is on is that they raise their own free-range, grass fed cattle, and they serve it in their restaurant.  I wish that I could have bought some to bring home, but they said that they don’t sell it 😦

It was a really fun day!