Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It's Getting Real!

     I want to start by sending a big thank-you to everyone who was so very supportive and encouraging about the announcement in my last post. If you haven't read that one, you might want to so that this one makes sense. Many of you asked how you can support me, and this post is an answer to that question. One of the most important things you can do is pray for me. You can pray for my safety and that God will allow me to be used in whatever way necessary during my time in Togo. Another way you can support me is somewhat awkward to talk about, because it involves money.
     Please don't view this as a young adult asking other people to pay for her to go on vacation. This is a mission opportunity that I have put lots of thought and prayer into. I was raised with the idea that if you want something, you work for it and save up until you can afford it. I rarely if ever had things just handed to me for free unless it was my Birthday or Christmas. If I could pay for the whole thing by myself I certainly would, but that's just not possible right now, and I can't just ignore what I know God is telling me to do because it's too expensive. So, I have to swallow my pride and endure the awkwardness of fundraising and trust that it is part of the plan.
Obviously, a donation of any amount is welcomed and appreciated very much. A donation of $40 will allow you to "sponsor" me for a day by covering the cost of food, lodging and other daily expenses. My hope is that I can provide each daily sponsor with a personal E-mail update one day during the trip. I also need money for the cost of air travel, which makes up the bulk of my expenses, and for fun things like film for my instant print camera so I can give the children pictures of themselves, something that they don't usually get to have. I plan to have some other fundraising plans laid out in the near future, but for now I've set up a GoFundMe to hopefully make it quick and easy to donate.
Something I will never forget from my trip to Honduras is the way children would climb in my lap and sit there as long as they could. These weren't just little children, these were children that I think were probably as old as ten or eleven. Many times, a child would climb into my lap, lean their head against me, and sigh deeply. These children who seemed so resilient as I watched them play showed me the true definition of a sigh of relief as they let themselves simply be held and receive the affection that all children deserve. This was three years ago, but I can still vividly remember these sighs and they cross my mind almost every day. It may seem outlandish to say that this memory of holding children allows me to justify the cost of this trip, but it's true. Those children taught me that no amount of money, or any other obstacle I may face should prevent me from accepting an opportunity to demonstrate God's love. Thank you all for demonstrating that very same love to me in the support you are already showing.

The whole "mission team", including Baby Elijah who will be in charge of all of my financial decisions for this trip. (Just kidding, Elijah, that's just a lame attempt at comedic relief because I've been talking about money and that makes grown-ups uncomfortable!)

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