It has been an absolute privilege for me to watch the hands and the feet come together and join with me on this trip. A trip that was born of a love for people that I don't even know. I asked Him to break my heart for what breaks His. And He has (or at least He has begun to.....I have this sneaky feeling that this is only the beginning).
I want to chronicle a little of what has happened since I last posted.
Initially, I wasn't certain that I wanted to fundraise for this trip but it didn't take long for God to show me differently. He impressed upon me that this trip wasn't only for me and that there was a role for others to play. Also, I believe that he wanted me to put myself out there and work to raise the funds and, I'm not certain that I know ALL of the reasons for that but I know this......I have been blessed. I have been blessed by people who shopped at our Yard Sale who told us to "keep the change", who brought items for us to sale, who made a donation even though they didn't buy a thing. I have been blessed by the Sunday mornings at church when I was handed donations for the children we will meet. I was blessed by Eli (see previous post) and his friends who gave for the sake of children who aren't as blessed as they are. I have been blessed by people who unexpectedly (and quietly) made a donation to my trip online or who made a purchase from Ordinary Hero to benefit the cause. I have been blessed by the encouragement and the prayers of others and I have been blessed in being able to talk to people I otherwise may have never gotten to talk to about Ethiopia, about orphans and about Christ and what He is doing in me and for me. The cost of this trip is approximately $3,300.00 Initially, as I said, I wasn't sure that I was going to try to raise any of it. And, then, I thought I'd attempt to raise half. I shudder now at the blessings I would have missed along the way had I not stepped out in faith to watch Him fund what He favors. Instead of 50% of the trip costs, God blessed me through various means with closer to 90%.
Ashley and I held a Yard Sale in which we split all proceeds. We set out dreaming BIG....saying, "wouldn't it be AWESOME if we could each earn $1,000.00"? Later...as the sale became reality, I didn't tell Ashley but I decided that that was silly and that I'd just be totally pumped if we could each earn $500.00. (Ashley later confessed to me that she had similar thoughts about our BIG plans of $1,000.00 each).
Well, I'm guessing none of you will be surprised to learn that that Yard Sale earned us..... ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. EACH! That God......he's something else, isn't He?
I sold Ugandan Acacia Bead necklaces (a fundraiser made available by Visiting Orphans (dot org) and I fundraised through Ordinary Hero (dot org) where 40% of all sales made on my behalf were donated to my trip.
And so, here we are; at the end of the beginning. Next Wednesday evening, I depart from Nashville for Washington DC. We will spend the night there and then leave on Thursday at Noon. Some (many) hours later (13 according to my itinerary), we will land in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
I hope to blog from there, although we've been warned that internet is questionable at best. There is an internet cafe that I may have an occasional chance to visit. I will try to pre-write posts in a word document and then copy and paste them into the blog if and when I get a chance and/or email info to Jeff that he can copy and paste into the blog.
I hope to post one more time before we leave but, just in case I'm unable, I covet your prayers for myself, for Ashley and for our entire team; not to mention the people that we will come in contact with along the way. I pray that I will allow His light to shine in me and that, in all I say and do, He is glorified.