Thursday, November 29, 2012


'Are you SO excited?!?'

It's those leading type of questions that are always awkward to respond to when your immediate answer isn't an exhilarated 'YES!' Or, when it's the opposite type of question... like the time a friend of mine and I got our hair cut over the same weekend, were walking together and someone said, 'Oh! You both got your hair cut! you hate it?'  Err... should we hate it?

Should I be SO excited?
What if I say I'm not...?

If you're not caught up to speed on my current life situation, the most pressing news is that I'm going to Africa. Tomorrow.

I can hear the squeals now, followed by a, 'Are you so excited?!?' Because that's the typical response...and it's not a bad response. I'm thankful that you're so excited for me...but sometimes I think I only get SO excited about food.

But,'s where I'm at:
Leading up to this trip, I feel like all I can think about is how uncomfortable I'm going to be. Because, in any trip I've ever taken out of the country, that's always the word that can sum up the whole trip. It's uncomfortable physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. And uncomfortable isn't bad... but it's still uncomfortable.

Uncomfortable isn't something I look forward to, and it's probably not something that I'm SO excited about. But... is this something that I know is worth it? Absolutely. Is this something that I'm glad I'm doing and honored to be a part of? One hundred percent. Will it be easy? It doesn't feel easy so far, and I haven't even left American soil yet.

The cool thing is that I have an email sitting in my inbox from a man in India who I partnered with two and a half years ago as we went from hut to hut sharing the Gospel with anyone who would listen. The cool thing is that I just edited and modified a newsletter for a woman in Costa Rica that I had the opportunity to work closely with for three and a half weeks a couple years back.

Moa and Ana both remind me that trips like these are worth it. They remind me, even beyond a short-term mission trip, that the relationships built and the impact made can truly be lasting. They remind me that I can join in personally with brothers and sisters in other parts of the world and how much more meaningful it is to know them versus only know of them. I am blessed by these these friendships, even if I never get to see them again on this earth.

My trip tomorrow still feels surreal. My bag is mostly packed, and I'm not really taking much. I'll fly from Boston to Amsterdam tomorrow evening and (hopefully) meet up with the rest of my team there. I know this trip will be good...and I know the opportunities that we have will be incredible. I know I'll see things I've never seen before (did I mention we're hosting a kid's camp along the Nile River??), I know my heart will be crushed by the heartache of these kids with no families... but I long to bring them hope.

kids at the Amazing Grace Children's Home!
As I prepare to lead Ugandan girls through discussions about godly beauty and adoption, in addition to finding games and group development pieces that are cross-cultural...I pray that the Holy Spirit would be our guide and that we would cross barriers in order to penetrate the hearts of those who need Jesus Christ. As I stay in a tent with a few of these girls each night, I pray that I would be willing to dive in deep...but also willing to laugh and simply love who the Lord has created them to be. I pray that these children, these youth, these teenagers, these early twenty-year-olds would know that they are loved by the King.

Would you pray for me and with me in this journey?
Would you pray that, even though uncomfortable, that this trip would never be about me? That I would always have eyes to see the ways people are in need and that I would tend to those needs quickly and quietly? Would you pray that the Lord would utilize my strengths and that I would not be afraid to share those with others? Would you pray that I would trust Him to be strong in my weakness? Would you pray that, above all else, that the Lord would truly be glorified? That many might come to know Him? That He would heal, save and redeem? That He would bring hope to the hopeless and joy to those who mourn?

I'm not SO excited.
But I am ready (as ready as I'll ever be)...and I am expecting God to show up. And that moves me into a place of 'let's do this' (Rocky-theme style) more than a place of giddy school-girl giggles and jumping up and down style. Maybe it's just semantics.

Either way... you won't be hearing from me for a while.

So, while I'm gone... you should do the following:

  • Pray for me/my team/all those we'll be interacting with.
  • Send me anything and everything you could possibly want me to write about upon my return (like, I'd love it if my inbox were full when I got back). 
  • Let me know about your life and how you really are... because you matter, and what you're dealing with matters (you can do this anonymously by clicking on the link below). 
  • Be courageous and brave.
  • Play.
  • Remember what matters. 
Thanks for your support, your encouragement, your prayers. 

It's that time. 
Time to just do it

Read me in a few weeks! 
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