Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Psalm 82:3

What if there are children who will suffer somehow because I failed to obey God?
What if my cowardice costs even one child somewhere in the world his or her life?
(excerpt from The Hole in Our Gospel)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to prepare for a Mission Trip 101 AND How to spend your friends' money on things orphanages desperately need

Sign up and send in your deposit
Ask yourself "What have I just gotten myself into?"
Participate in a conference call
Organize "teams" and "projects" and a "plan"
Put together a supply list with 25 people you've never met before
Prepare to deviate from your assigned teams, projects and plans
Host a fundraiser
Get a T-Shirt
Receive some pretty nifty pre-trip devotionals
Participate in more conference calls
Have your two healthy children get sick
Read devotionals and talk them over with the 25 people you've never met
Say a prayer for each person who tells you "I wish I could do that someday"
Pack some more
Get audited by the IRS (no kidding!)
Prepare to haul 50+ pounds of formula from SL to DC to Africa
Learn about the countries you are about to visit
Brush up on your HIV/AIDS education skills
Ask yourself at least once a week "What am I getting myself into?"
Be thankful for a husband who embraces this crazy idea with you
Watch God move mountains!!!

Maybe when I get back, I'll write something about the "mountains" that have been moved these past few weeks. For now, just know that some not-so-small things have come up for me and my family that easily could have really discouraged me (and briefly did at times). Fortunately (yes, fortunately) I can be a bit stubborn, so quitting or slowing down was just not an option. In fact, I think these potential stumbling blocks caused me to feel even more determined to give it my all, and more encouraged that I'm doing exactly what God wants me to do.

How to shop for donations & spend other peoples' money in 10 easy steps
-there is just no other way to say it :o)

  • Step 1) Host a fundraiser
  • Step 2) Take some of the money you raised to Target
  • Step 3) Ask the manager for a discount and end up with a $50 gift card
  • Step 4) Shop the clearance racks for kids clothes & baby needs
  • Step 5) Watch the look on other people's faces when they see your cart filled with tons of kids clothes and baby needs (even in Utah nobody buys that many clothes at one time!)
  • Step 6) Go to the check out and watch the faces of others in line as you take hangers off of everything. Notice them NOT being angry at the wait, but curious instead.
  • Step 7) Say "Thanks for asking" to the ONE person who flat out asks if all those cloths are for your kids.
  • Step 8) Smile at that same person who said "Wow, I wish I could do something like that. That's totally awesome."
  • Step 9) Say a quick pray for that stranger to go to Africa someday too (you just never know, right?)
  • Step 10) Take a photo of your loot, post it on your blog and write THANK YOU in big letters. After all, without the donations from your friends and neighbors, you would have never been able to afford all that stuff - even if everything was on clearance!

(photo TBA: 50-75 lbs of formula)
(photo TBA: candy, flip flops and small games)

Finally, our team leader from VO sent an e-mail out this week about an additional stop we'll be making. Some of you have probably already heard. Here is part of her e-mail:
I just chatted with my friend Sumer in Ethiopia and she said that this orphanage is pretty rough. They have had 3 babies die in the last 2 weeks and she said that there are about 6 that are very, very sick. It sounds like the babies have mostly been getting water and not formula. I’ll explain more details later, but an American is going to be heavily involved in overseeing this from this point forward (hopefully!) to make sure that these children are properly cared for. Sumer said that there are about 19 babies and 20 older kids. We might visit this place twice because it sounds like they desperately need some love and some help.
After reading that e-mail, I figured that some of the money my friends have given me for orphanage donations should be spent on this one. Thus...all the clothing, bottles and diapers in the above pictures. Thank You for making my dream of taking lots of STUFF to these orphanages come true. And thanks, Tiffany, for the newborn boy stuff! See it in the piles above?

Going to borrow a space saver now (what's that vacuum thing called you use for food storage?) and see how much I can fit...knowing full well I may be paying that hefty fee at the airport for an extra piece of luggage. Funny, though...I really don't think I mind.

Later in the evening:
This is what my stash looks like now.

Look what vacuumed packed storage can do! Wow! I'm not an infomercial kind of gal, but I would seriously do one for these bags. I'm sold!

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