I rolled up each pair of bermuda shorts, strategically lining the suitcase. Packed away all the pre-cut paper, beads, and glue sticks, smirking to myself that somehow I found a way to make even the crafts glam. I counted the rolls of film and fit one more pack. And then I sat. And sighed. And thanked God for all that he had provided. Because really, he has provided. I had no extra funds when I felt a tug at my heart to attend this mission. And seemingly even less free time. But through tons of generous monetary and tangible donations it happened. I was able to raise enough money to send me along with a team from Inspire Church on a mission trip to Thailand. When we attended Sunday service as a whole, the message wasn't lost on me. Faith. Purpose. Provision. It was there that I sat in the front row last Sunday, draped in a lei of blessing, eyes welling up with tears as an update from Uganda flashed before the large projector screen. An update on the same mission trip that inspired me to go the day I walked out and saw a table marked 'Thailand Missions" in the church corridor. I have been led by faith, encouraged to take a leap into the unknown, resting assured in the Lord's word that if it is his purpose, he will provide. And, he has, through you. Financially. Emotionally. Spiritually. Donations given and prayers sent up into the sky, I am eternally grateful and humbled and in sheer freaking awe of the love and support that everyone has shown, and I know that if it wasn't for you guys, and your love + faith that I wouldn't be ready to board this plane. Just when I was doing my usual, stressing about money (then praying about trip money), the post man knocked on the door and handed me $900 from Hanes Chapel, getting me to my goal to pay for accommodation and airfare. I received enough donations to make the glam yard sale a smashing success, providing crafts for the kids, supplies, film, and a thailand wardrobe (I didn't have one pair of shorts that came to my knees, yall. I mean, who wears those? Well me, this week!). My traveling photographer worries were erased when I won a Kelly Moore backpack/messenger bag. Then let's not forget the message that was presented we take to the children: "You are the lamp at my feet and the light of my path". There go all these light references dotting my life. Spotlight. And my fears dissolved when I experienced all the love and prayers even strangers have given. Thank you, for all of your support. EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU. It means the world to me, I mean it. We both know who you all are. I'm doomed to be a big teary mess these next ten days.
I am sure that even with a suitcase full, I will be coming back with way more than I brought.
On that note, I plan to give everything I've got, putting my heart + soul fully into this mission and to take in every last drop that Thailand has to offer. There will be limited internet access, if any at all, and while I hope to blog a few experiences in the moment, I will be M.I.A. from email and social media for the most part until my return at the end of July. So please excuse any delay in correspondence.
Lord, please light the way. Hereeeeee we go!