Sunday, May 31, 2009

last day in America...

I can't believe this is finally happening...I will be in Africa this time Tuesday! Tomorrow morning I get on a plane in Cleveland at 10:18am, fly to D.C. and then I have a 6 hour layover there..hopefully I can learn the Zerma language (I think I am supposed to know it before I get there...). I am pretty sure I am meeting my team in D.C. and then we will fly to Paris together, we have a 4 hour layover in Paris then off to Niger. I am so nervous right now, I know God is going to protect me and I am so excited but I just don't know what to expect and that is scary.

I am so grateful for my amazing friends and family! My church had a commissioning service for me today...I had to speak (which was awful, but at least I didn't start laughing this time), then they all gathered and prayed for me. After church we had refreshments and everyone wished me luck and offered their prayers while I am gone. Milan Baptist has really shown me how much they care, providing almost all the money for my trip! Then for my last supper Nana made my favorite (baked spaghetti, salad, bread sticks, fried pies, and carrot cake)! The family plus Tori and Ann went to her house and we had a great time! Daddy and Kimberly and Tabitha called to tell me bye! Then Amy came over and I got to spend some time with her and Maggie! Plus Jessica has been with me since yesterday (helping me pack and reassuring me that everything is going to be fine Philippians 4:7) and she is going to the airport with mom to drop me off tomorrow! It has been a crazy few months getting ready for my trip...I am so blessed to have the mother I do. Putting up with everything to get me ready for this trip. I am so excited and I will miss everyone so much!

PLEASE pray for me!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Roller Coaster...

I leave for Africa in two days…

I am so excited, scared, nervous, anxious, overwhelmed, and so many other emotions. The closer this trip gets the more I realize how unprepared I really am. First of all I know that I am kinda high maintenance and camping is not really my thing. I don’t like bugs, or animals, or dirt, and I am really picky when it comes to food. I like taking long showers and being nice and clean. So like many people, this week, I have been questioning why I am going on this trip. Being so overwhelmed with all it takes to pack your life in 100 pounds for 2 months to live out in the bush of Africa has really been getting to me the past couple of days. Then on top of wondering why I am going to a place so far away from anything I have ever known this has been a tough week in other ways. People keep asking me if I am ready…I keep smiling and just saying um yah I guess so. Honestly I don’t think I will ever be ready for this trip. This past week I have become really discouraged whenever I think about Niger. I keep thinking about the things I a missing out on this summer (graduation parties, birthday parties, spending time with my family, vacations, etc...) Everything hit me this check engine light came on so I fixed that, then my car broke down so I fixed that, then I needed new plates and a new license, then I had to pay my speeding ticket, I had some other things I had to take care of and then I needed new tires on my car...all while I am trying to raise and save money for my trip. Thankfully my daddy and Kimberly put the tires on my car so I didn't have to worry about that and the other things for my car weren't that expensive but still it was frustrating. So going through all this and then seeing all the new summer clothes and things makes me wonder if I should have just stayed home and worked this summer... I keep thinking about how the summer would be if I didn't go to Africa...if I waited for a better time. But I have come to realize that there never will be a "better" time. God has placed this amazing opportunity in my lap and even if I cannot see it right now this is the best time for me to go. I know that God is sending me so far away from anything I have ever known for a reason and now I just have to be open to seeing what that reason is. There are always going to be parties and vacations and family time that I will have to miss out on, but the experiences I am going to have this summer will never compare. So I am ready...yes I am extremely nervous and scared but I am ready. Of course I still have bags to pack and goodbyes to say but for the most part I am ready.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

So the summer begins...

I am sitting on the couch at home making a list of everything I need to do to get ready for Africa. Needless to say I am getting really stressed!! My list includes...getting everything on the shopping list (long dresses, a mosquito tent, tons of camping gear, food I can cook on a stove top thing...and so much more), another shot, Typhoid pills, doctors appointment, hair appointment, pedicure, license plate renewed, a new licenses, the oil changed on my car, and so much more. Plus I want to spend as much time with my family as possible...since I have been at school for the last 4 months. I have eight days to get all of this done...because I will be leaving for my road trip (hopefully with Jess) to Florida on May 21st. We will be meeting my dad and Kimberly in Georgia and then going to Florida for 5 days to lay on the beach and get a tan!!! Then back to Ohio for 4 days before AFRICA!!

I am so nervous but so excited. I know it is going to be so amazing...but camping isn't really my thing and this is basically a really intense camping trip. I am leaving on June 1st from Cleveland...flying to D.C. where I have a 4 hour lay over and I will be meeting up with 2 girls from my trip to fly to Paris and then Niamey together. While in Africa we will have a week of training and orientation then off to the bush...while there we will be living with the Zerma people and just hanging out with them. We will be doing prayer walking and building relationships with the people. Thankfully every two weeks we get to go back to the city and relax for a couple of days before heading back into the bush. Then back home on July 31st!!

I am hoping to keep this updated as much as possible in the next couple of weeks getting ready for AFRICA and as much as possible while in Niger. PLEASE keep me in your prayers...I am going to need a lot of PRAYER this summer!!!