6 Days.

I love every conversation, every person, every encouraging note – I really do – and I’ve found lots of repetition in questions lately, so why not repeat the answers one more time on here for all to see?

I’m leaving in six days.  On Saturday our flight leaves at 6:15am, and the plan is to be walking in Port-au-Prince’s airport by 2pm.  We’ll load up on a tap-tap (….I’ll just include a picture. It’s kinda, sorta, the Haitian equivalent of public transit), joining my roommate who is also arriving Saturday afternoon, and head to Cabaret, Ouest, Haiti! (Less than an hour away, not too far)

Need to jump on or off? Bang on the side, twice, and hard so the driver hears a 'double tap'. (as in, "tap-tap")

Need to jump on or off? Bang on the side, twice, and hard so the driver hears a ‘double tap’. (as in, “tap-tap”)

View as a (standing) passenger on Route National #1

Packing. Packing is going as you’d expect, for someone trying to pack a small life into a plane friendly package. I’ve been blessed to buy very few things for myself, I’m surrounded by people who love to give.  And leaving with a short term team is the way to go – they are troopers! I have lots of hands to carry bags for me.  I have most of my things, with just a kitchen utensil or two, some batteries, and citronella candles to go.  And sunglasses, of course.  I’ve got one bag down, and a week to finish the rest!

Prayers.  Oh, how I’m blessed by them.  I’m covered by the prayers of others, and I can feel that I’m covered as pieces fall together & I have peace. **Readers, I ask for continued prayer!  As of this moment: physical health, ‘pieces in place’ in packing (and no problems with over 20 checked & carry on bags at the airport with our team), good family time over these last days, and preparations in Haiti for both Grace’s short term medical team and the two new team members of CPR-3 (My roommate Tiffany & I).  By preparations I mean the team environment and communication, whatever roles God has designed, and the hearts of all those interacted with.  Even in the airport I pray for a positive impact where we go, including basic friendly interactions with employees from a tired and possibly stressed-from-travel team.

I am overwhelmed and so incredibly encouraged by support.  Letters in the mail, Facebook posts, texts, people in passing, meetings with amazing individuals.  Financial support is fully funded and now possibly on it’s way to excess, and emotional and spiritual support is flowing all around me.  I don’t know why I am blessed enough to be sent, but God has made sure that I can be firm in my choice and that I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Can I just repeat one of those lines, one of the least significant spiritually but the one that has made mouths drop?  As of last night, I am FULLY FUNDED.

The total I had to raise was $16,300.  In four months (and that’s stretching it, most of the work was done in less time), I raised ALL of the money needed to go serve for a FULL YEAR.  This was all God using people to bless me, and people letting Him use them to do it!   Many people came to me before I even asked, and some did not even get a chance to give who mentioned that they were planning on it!  So, for all of us that doubt (note that I said US, I am definitely guilty) – He’ll get you there.  Listen to him and act & so will He.

With that being said, I’ll wrap it up.  Excitement, Packing, Prayer, Support, People, Encouragement – it’s almost time and it’s going great.  There are plenty of other questions, but I don’t want to ramble. If you have something, please comment!

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The Reluctant Blogger

So there’s been a joke (that a few of you have heard) that I don’t like the term missionary.  As people told me that I should get a blog for this journey, ‘Reluctant Missionary’ was suggested.  It’s not a bad term, and it’s not that that I don’t want to be one – it’s that when this word was first used to describe me I had to immediately sit back.

“Me? A missionary? Nooo…”

I grew up in churches where stories of missionaries included jungle imagery and a lifelong commitment to another culture.  Some kind of “special” skill set and a clear call saved for “special” people was required.   So for me to be called “the first sending missionary” from my church was humbling and didn’t seem appropriate to fit a broken girl like me!

Don’t get me wrong, I am not defined by the fact that I am broken.  I have been made whole in Christ and He is making me new every day, just the idea of being used still shocks me.  I have a past.  I’m selfish.  I make a lot of mistakes.  I mean I got good grades & I have my good parts, but surely there are better people.  More spiritual people.  People who fit what I believe a missionary looks like.  Surely I’m not good enough yet.

But that’s the beauty of it – that’s how God chose to create things.  He doesn’t say “Get it all right, and then I can use you”.  He says “Come. I’ve been chasing you, and as soon as you turn around and take a step towards me I will use you – I’ve been waiting to use you”.   This blows my mind on a daily basis.  He’s been pursuing me all these years, and even as he watched me ignore Him, he still set my life up and turned it all so once I started to listen, I could serve Him.

Along with that, missionaries do not fit in a box.  The image I have in my head, that many others have as well – that’s not what “a missionary” is all about or limited to.  Our missions pastor actually threw a pretty wise line at me as I shied away from the term being associated with me – “We’re all on mission.”  Which is true.  I don’t know why ‘being on mission’ is so vastly different than ‘being a missionary’ in my mind.  A big part of it is me needing to grasp that I am whole in God, restored by the mediator of Christ, designed to use this average vessel as a part of His plan.  Broken people are His plan.  Not untouchable missionaries (who would say back that they’re not untouchable or so different from us anyway), Not someone who has lived the perfect life, Not a girl who has turned from everything bad and is now 100% good.  His plan is an average sinner who turned to face the God that was chasing her.   A girl who took hundreds of small steps to get where she is.  A girl who is not good in just herself, but who is following a great God.

So here I am.  I also have never been big on blogging, and never seen myself as a blogger – so you could call me the Reluctant Blogger as well.  That’s what God does – he takes you places where you never could have imagined yourself.