Dearest friends and family,
About six years ago God put a little stirring in my heart to go on a mission trip with our church. Every other year, our little tiny church sends a little tiny team to another little tiny church in San Narciso, Belize, to accomplish great big things for the Kindgom. And I've always wanted to be a part of it.
The only problem six years ago was that I was nursing a baby, and couldn’t yet bear the thought of leaving him and my 2 year old Lillian for a week. And two years after that I was about to burst with baby #3 so I was unable to go again. And 2 years after that, I don’t know, I just felt like my kids were so little, and how would Steve pull it off without me :) and a bazillion other reasons why I shouldn’t go.
So here we are six years later with no babies, and no excuses. I even dared to dream that Steve would somehow be able to go with me on this trip. In a way that only God can do, things all fell into place and last month we committed to spending a week in San Narciso with ten-ish other people, sleeping in a church, working on a construction project, VBS outreach, not drinking the water, and a whole host of other experiences I haven’t had in at least a decade. Of all the places I’ve been and work projects I’ve been a part of, I’ve never once done it with Steve. I’m so thrilled that God thought “my” idea was good enough to work it out for us to go together.
For this trip Steve and I are on a small committee to head up the VBS portion of the trip. This committee consists of Steve, with his "being on stage" abilities, and me with my elementary education degree, and a really really great lady from church who just has a way with kids (especially getting them to sing) and another young gal (that makes me sound old, doesn't it) :) who has been on a bunch of service projects before. The four of us have our work cut out for us, planning and preparing for a week's worth of lessons and crafts and songs and ideas. So we really covet your prayers for that planning process and the actual experience of the VBS.
Once we get down there, we'll spend our days divided with a work/construction project during the mornings and the VBS in the afternoons. We've also been told not to rely too much on the schedule though, since plans may totally change once we get down there. It may end up being a go-with-the-flow type of experience for us. Our trip is organized through Mission to the World, and since we don't actually have one of the pastors going with us on the trip, our group will really have to rally together and lead each other both before and during the trip. It's so exciting to be a part of this type of thing again!!!
The biggest concern we have at this point (besides leaving our kids for a week, and DON’T ask Lillian about it if you’re not ready to see tears!) is the financial commitment we made to raise support for a third of the cost of our trip. We work as a team to fundraise a third, the church covers a third, and then we raise support for a third. This was honestly the one thing that almost kept us from saying yes, but we decided it might be best to NOT ignore God’s calling on this one. :) It’s been our honor to support just a couple people financially on their journeys of doing God’s work when we were unable to go, so I know that it can certainly be a blessing for all involved.
So here we are, with about $1200 to raise (no official word yet) between the two of us, not including extra personal expenses like passports, shots, malaria meds, etc. If you feel like God is calling you to partner with us in this way, we’d love to have your support. If you want your check to be tax deductible, it needs to be made out to Grace Reformed Church, with our names on the memo line. Other checks can be made to Steve or me, and will go toward our support raising or other trip related costs. If the Lord blesses us beyond what we need to raise for this trip, the extra money will go toward our other team members’ costs or put in the missions fund for our church.
And of course, if you’re unable to support us financially right now (believe me, we get it!) we would really love to have your prayers. I know everyone who goes on a mission trip says that, but I’m so serious. We would love your prayers for the two of us as we go through this experience together, that it would strengthen our love for each other and our ‘cord of three strands’ with our God. We’d love prayers for our kids, who are already thinking a bit too much about the fact that Mommy and Daddy are going to fly over the ocean and be away from them for a week. We’d love prayers for our team, from two different church sites, and the relationships created on this trip. And of course protection, and for God’s love to shine through us as we prepare for and experience this journey He’s bringing us on.
If you feel led to help us with our support raising, please send your checks to:
Thanks so much for joining with us on this journey in whatever way God leads you to! We're so excited!!!