Our flight leaves in about 12 hours. We'll have to leave here at around 6:30 am for our 11 am flight. Bags are packed, R is in bed...I hope to be in my bed in a few minutes.
I'm not feeling particularly articulate about the whole thing. I find myself feeling awed by this opportunity...this gift. I honestly have an image of myself just taking His hand and heading off, not really knowing where He will take me. The blessing of having the opportunity to just love the ones He loves...it feels overwhelming to me right now. I can't even imagine what I will have to share on the other side of this trip.
Please pray for R. My specific prayer for her is that God will use all that she sees and experiences to draw her to Himself. She's a 13 year old girl with a tender heart, and it will be easy for her to grow in her compassion for those who are "less fortunate" than she. It's likely that she will experience pain, grief, even guilt, as her eyes are opened to the realities of poverty and need. But I don't want her heart to be turned to the poor and needy for their sakes alone. I am longing and praying that she will have her Father's heart. That she will be driven to trust Him, to turn to Him and long for Him in a way that is new to her. That she will be able to lay all of the pain and suffering she sees in His hands, right along with her own life. And that she will see the joy...oh, that she would experience the pure joy. The mysterious duality that she will be used by Him to serve His little ones, and at the same time have the unspeakable privilege of serving Him...washing His feet. For whatever you do unto the least of these by brothers, you have done it unto Me. She knows the words, but now...she might really know. Oh, that she might really experience deep intimacy with Him. Please pray with me for this. By the way, when she found out that Meseret (the 14 year old girl that we sponsor) likes blue jeans, and that they are hard to come by, she decided to pack extra clothes and leave them all in Ethiopia. She's planning to come home with just the clothes on her back. Oh, and the gifts she buys for her brothers, sisters and friends. She's been saving her babysitting money for months!
We will be landing in Addis Ababa at 7:45 Saturday morning, check into our Guest House, and head straight for Trees of Glory, one of the two Carepoints at which we'll spend most of our time. With the exception of Tuesday, we'll be at the Carepoints from morning 'til evening every day, working with the children.
We have four bags packed (plus our carry-ons), and three of them are completely filled with donations and supplies for the Carepoints. (The fourth is mostly our personal stuff, along with our gifts for our sponsored child, and gifts for an Ethiopian friend we'll be meeting on Monday). All four bags are very close to the 50 pound limit, so that's at least 150 pounds of donations. We have been absolutely amazed at God's provision for this trip; for these children. Thank you so much to all who have donated supplies, or given us money to purchase them. You are all going into Ethiopia with us!!
Back on November 21st!