As of this post, I now have sixteen more days until I’m on my flight to the Czech Republic! These next two-ish weeks are going to go by super fast. I still have so many things to do, plans to make, stuff to pack. But I wanted to take this chance to update you all on how I’ve been doing, and on how things stand financially.
Mission Trip to The Voice of the Martyrs
As a leader in my church’s young adult discipleship group, I got the chance to spend last week with them on a mission trip volunteering at The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. VOM is a non-profit organization that supports the growing number of persecuted Christians throughout the world. Their free newsletter shares the stories of the persecuted church, raising awareness and encouraging Christians to pray. As volunteers, we worked in the Operation Center, doing projects like signing receipts, stuffing envelopes, mailing newsletters, and shrink-wrapping prayer cards. Even though we spent eight hour workdays on repetitive, sometimes physically demanding, projects, the young people never complained. Their love for each other and for their persecuted brothers and sisters never ceases to amaze me. I’m thankful to be working alongside such a wonderful group of world-changers.
If you’re interested in learning more about The Voice of the Martyrs, and how you can get involved, you can follow the link to their website HERE.
CZ Mission Trip Details
Since my last blog post, I’ve mailed over 40 mission letters, and personally handed out several more. My thanks to everyone who took the time to read them, and to those who’ve asked me about my trip. The feeling of disconnect that I had from all of you at first is slowly starting to disappear thanks to your kind words and encouragement. And I’m hoping to make more connections in the next two weeks. I’ll be speaking at two churches this coming Sunday, and I’m always open to emails, messages, or personal conversations. If you have any questions at all about my trip, please feel free to ask.
Another important update is that I only have the finishing touches to add to my “Leadership in Ministry” coursework before I can send it in for grading! I loved studying for this class, and I’m hoping to do a blog post soon on some of the things I’ve learned.
As for the trip itself, the biggest detail to come together so far has been the airplane tickets. Thanks to a few early givers, I was able to buy my international tickets quickly, and for a very good price. I’ll be flying from Chicago to Prague both directions, but with a layover in Frankfurt on the way in, and a layover in Toronto on the way back. I’ve also purchased a ticket to get me to Chicago on August 31, and one to take me back from Chicago to Kansas City on September 22. My hope right now is to attend the last half of Grace Covenant International’s “Ignite” conference before returning home on the 24th, but plans are still under discussion.
As for my financial situation… while I’ve received enough donations to pay for my plane tickets, I still have quite a ways to go. I still need money for food, lodging, in-country travel, and any additional expenses that might pop up. My goal is to raise $3,000 for this September scouting trip, but as of yesterday morning I only had $750 in my mission account, and only seventeen days left to go. I’ll admit this made me rather nervous and discouraged. I spent yesterday morning pacing up and down our backyard, asking God for provision and giving my fears to Him. No sooner had I stepped back inside when a phone call came right out of the blue. A friend not only wanted to meet and talk, she wanted to know what my financial need was, and how she could help. I returned home from our meeting, bubbling with encouragement, to find that the mail had brought a letter and check from another pair of supporters as well! I can’t begin to tell you how amazing that felt. God answers prayer, and He does it through each of us as we continue to love and support those around us.
So as of this morning, I now have a little over 33% of my $3,000 goal. Please continue to pray for the Lord’s provision for this upcoming trip. Pray that the details will come together, and that I’ll be a blessing to others while I’m in the Czech Republic.
If you’re interested in donating to my trip and helping me reach my goal, there are two easy ways you can do it. The first is to mail a check to Grace Covenant International, PO Box 588, Platte City, MO 64079. The check should be made payable to “Grace Covenant International,” with “CZ – M” written in the memo line.
The second way is to donate online. You can do this via the PayPal link on the Grace Covenant Donation page (http://www.gracov.com/#!donate/c1t5w). Please make sure to include “CZ – M” in the note to seller on PayPal. (A small PayPal fee will be deducted from donations.)
All contributions to Grace Covenant International will be tax-deductible.
Thanks everyone for your prayers and support! I couldn’t do this without you guys. Together we’re making a difference, and I can’t wait to see how the Lord is going to work.