…well almost! The seed was first planted in my heart in 2012 when a good friend of mine came back from a mission trip to Cambodia! I asked the poor guy probably 100 questions that night and I was even holding back (which isn’t really out of character, I nicknamed myself “Queen of Questions” back in my college days, I just want to know lots of random stuff). Among being inquisitive, I also consider myself a social servant, starting my volunteer work when I was 14 years old; volunteering at a local hospital over 250 hours, a rehabilitation inpatient program for pregnant women and mothers, Big Brother Big Sister program, local charities and businesses, and then I graduated college (with honors) in Social Work – fitting huh? I love to work in the social realm! So when I finally met someone who went on a mission trip, I decided then and there, I needed to go on an international mission. I felt my soul yearning for the experience of a 3rd world country, to help the poor children desperately in need. If I could help build something (who am I kidding, I’m not a “builder” but my husband has taught me the fine art of fetching and holding a flashlight), or bring water somewhere, or education here or there, or anything to help anyone in need. After prayer and seeking out the opportunity to serve, an opportunity landed in my awareness like a little gift wrapped up just for me. It was a mission trip to the Philippines, during a time available for me to leave work for 10 days… Nov. 25th – Dec. 5th. I didn’t really know what it was all about but I didn’t care! I called my husband up and told him about the opportunity. He knew I’ve been wanting to do this so he gave me his blessings and full support. Then the most amazing thing happened… I found out WHAT the mission was… I’m joining a national mission team from Extreme Response International and going to the Philippines to give about 1000 children a Christmas!!
What will we be doing?
* We will be sharing Christmas parties.
* Giving gift bags full of toys to the children.
* Giving bags of food for their families.
* Telling the Christmas Story.
These Christmas parties are often the first time to meet the parents. Because of this, we and the local missionaries, Youth Mobilization, will be able to build relationships with the children and their parents for continued work throughout the year.
And to top off this incredible experience, I coordinated with the Mission Team Leader and will be documenting the mission through my unique, photographic lens.
I NEEDED LOTS OF SUPPORT TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN!
Each team member must raise $2000 of support, which doesn’t include airfare (approx. $1000). Now surely I don’t have the money to pay for that. It’s a big sacrifice already for my family – for me to leave for 10 days and take 2 weeks off unpaid (I don’t receive vacation or mission PTO – still trying to figure that piece out, but continue to have faith, pray and trust that God will pave the way).
And so my mission work began. I’ve been fundraising for a few months and through this process, I have been brought to tears multiple times by my family and friends’ generosity. Monetary support is so very helpful, but so are the prayers and encouragement. My loved ones who aren’t able to give, they’ve reached out and poured out their love and support and encouragement and prayers for me and this mission… and that means the world – it’s just as important! It’s been an incredible process already, I’m so excited to share with you what inspired joy I continue to receive and experience through this journey I’m on.
to be continued…