Let's start with the almost 5 month journey to get to the trip. I want to share with you a blurb from my journal. This was written December 11th, 2011:
I should learn to watch my words, especially in the house of God. I was sitting in service this morning, browsing my bulletin, chatting with Auburn. I said almost flippantly, ‘if they were taking a trip to Haiti this year, I’d go’. That night I logged onto Gfconline.com and sure enough, there it was on the list: Haiti.
You’re probably wondering, why Haiti? Well, after my friend Rafael went to launch his Uber Shelters in the wake of the extreme loss Haiti has experienced as a country, his enthusiasm and heart for the people there really touched me. In addition to Raf, one of my Dad’s players and my twitter friend, Pierre, being from Haiti has done so much to help his people. I’ve been touched by his passion and love for his country and his desire to help the people there.
I filled out my application, sent in my deposit, and called my Mom to tell her that I will be going to Haiti and please donate towards my trip instead of buying me Christmas gifts this year. Lord help me – I’m going to Haiti!
It was weird to go back and read that. I had all these Christmas plans for what I would use the money towards, what I wanted as gifts...and in a split second my perspective changed. My parents and several other relatives donated towards my trip as well as bought me some of the supplies I would need for the trip...
I came back from Christmas and wrote this on January 5th:
A new year and the Lord’s mercies are new. Jess & I have set a date for our yard sale – February 18th. I got $300 towards my Haiti trip for Christmas from my parents. Also, after I sent her a list my Mom stuffed my stocking with sunscreen, bug spray, hand sanitizer, etc. I got a holder for my passport too, which by the way has not arrived yet.
I’m humbled by the Lord provision in all areas of my life. And my excitement for this trip grows and grows. This is the verse that keeps coming to mind:
‘Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of the orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.’ – Isaiah 1:17
I'm smiling as I look back and realize I had no idea how the Lord would still manage to blow me away. From receiving a huge check in the mail from someone I didn't ask for money from to realizing in hindsight, I never really had to ask for anything...people just gave! And gave and gave and gave. So much so that by the end, I was able to donate some of what had been given for me towards my teammates.
I prayed when I first decided to go and told the Lord I wasn't going to ask people for a bunch of money and if he wanted this trip to happen, and I felt like he did, he'd have to provide. What I didn't expect was him to open the flood gates and remind me that the box I fit him in is my doing, that my small mind doesn't fit my big God.
I kept moving forward with shots and passports and planning....
I continued to write out my prayers requests and the Lord continued to guide my steps. From start to finish my prep, my one and only fear was whether or not my stomach could handle a week in a 3rd world country. I have to take this time to say, my doctor was incredible. From working through all my fears with me to saving me hundreds of dollars on vaccines, antibiotics, and appointments - he played a huge part in this trip prep and I am forever grateful. I pray the Lord blesses him in tangible ways.
The spring seemed to go slow with Haiti always feeling far away and then all of the sudden it was April! The countdown was on. I spent April buying supplies, preparing for home renovations, dotting my i's and crossing my t's. Then all of the sudden it was time to pack!...
With a 5:30 meet up time on Saturday morning I worked hard all week to get most of my prep done in advance. Since I didn't need to take my hair equipment, my work clothes, or really many of the things I use on a day-to-day basis, it wasn't hard to park in advance. Maybe the hardest part of my prep was making sure my work was in good shape to do without me for a week so close to an event and my blog was scheduled so you people wouldn't be bored and lonely without me. ;]
To say the prep for this trip came together seamlessly would be an understatement. I see God's hand in all of it. From being the first to raise all my funds, to having friends donate bed sheets, flash lights, and snacks for me, God was in the big and the little details. And I'm happy to report that didn't stop with the prep work, but that's for another day!