I don't think that I really had any major doubts that this is what I should do or would be doing. But yes, it's actually happening. Or it will be. I have already started fundraising efforts. I'm not sure how much the first payment will be for the trip, but I think I'm pretty close to having it together. Registration opens on Wednesday. I don't work until really late that day, so I fully intend on calling as soon as Compassion opens (two hours later than my time zone!) and asking to sign up. This is an advocate partner tour, so I know that there is a discount either on the down payment or the trip itself, which is pretty awesome. And we will be visiting ID and IO. This morning trip details for just an IO trip were posted, so I was able to get a better idea about what will be going on during the trip.
I am really, really excited about this opportunity, and I kind of wish I could fast-forward until Wednesday so I can get registered! I can't wait to find out more about the trip. I can't wait to find out the exact dates (I sent an email back in July and got the tentative dates) so I can mark them on the vacation calendar at work. I can't wait to find out exactly where all we're going so I can learn more about the area. In general, I just can't wait!
I would really like to share my trip-related prayer requests with you all. There is a lot to pray about, for sure. So I've divided it up into categories.
- Funding. Travel costs money. Since this is an international trip, it's sort of expensive, by some standards. I thought about it and it's actually a pretty good deal, considering everything that's covered. My payment to Compassion for the trip will cover my round-trip flights to and from Indonesia from Los Angeles; hotels; all meals; transportation in-country; translators and security if needed.....basically all aspects of the trip except souvenirs, a flight to California and back, and my passport and shots. A lot is covered for a really awesome price. But it's also the most expensive thing I've ever had to pay for. I know God wants me to go on this trip, and He will make a way for me to get there, but I will need help. I can't make it on my own. Right now I am doing a few fundraisers. I am selling crafts to help fund my trip (I have a facebook page here- if you're on facebook, please "like" my page!) and that has been going well. So far I've made $70! And I have a few orders from friends outstanding that I should get paid for soon. I have also set up a fundraising page on GoFundMe, which you can find near the top right corner of my blog page. And I will be doing other fundraisers, too. I already got approval from Krispy Kreme to sell coupons for their donuts as a fundraiser. When Chick Fil A puts out their 2014 calendars, I plan on asking if I can do that fundraiser, too. If you can think of any other similar programs, let me know! But please pray that my fundraising efforts will be blessed, and in a timely manner so I'm not freaking out close to time to go on the trip.
- Travel. I live in Kentucky. The farthest I've ever been from home is when I visited Miami. The longest airplane flight I've ever been on was Louisville to Atlanta. I've always traveled with family- my parents or my husband. Please pray for a stress-free trip: no flight delays, no major turbulence, a comfortable flight, ease in adjusting to the time change (I live in the Eastern time zone; the biggest time difference I've experienced is an hour.) I've also never had to deal with passports, visas, and all that stuff before. Pray that I don't mess anything up and get stranded somewhere. : )
- My health. Please pray for my anxiety before and during the trip. My anxiety disorder is NOT going to stop me from going. I've already decided that much. I refuse to let it keep me home. But I still need prayer. I get nervous when traveling around my own city if the destination is somewhere I haven't been before. I don't know what it's going to be like getting on a plane by myself; having a layover by myself; getting to Los Angeles by myself; being halfway across the world with a group of strangers.....it will be different, most definitely. But I will survive. And I would really appreciate your prayers, for my anxiety and also my sometimes overly sensitive stomach. I'm sure that aspect of the trip will be an adventure as well.
- My travel mates. I will have a roommate on the trip. Pray that we get along well. Pray that I encounter nice people along the way. Pray that at least one person in our group will be understanding of my anxiety issues if they should arise.
- The kids. Pray that we'll all have a great time together! Pray that they will know they are loved. Pray that we can help the unsponsored kids be matched with sponsors.
- My friends and family. One thing I have been praying about regarding this trip is how it will impact people around me. I have a lot of hopes in this area. I hope that my journey will lead to more of my friends and relatives becoming sponsors. I hope that this trip will affect my friends and relatives who don't have a relationship with Jesus. I hope that it will be an eye-opening experience for my friends that may not understand how good they have it here in the US, living our comparatively wealthy lives.
So. Now it's only 48.5 hours until registration day, and I can call Compassion to enthusiastically shout into the phone "I WANT TO GO TO INDONESIA! SIGN ME UP!!!" It's going to be a hard wait!