3 Weeks

This is like mine, only mine was blue.
If suitcases could talk…

For my 15th birthday I asked for a set of luggage. Some may find that strange, but I knew even then that I was born for travel and adventure. Maybe being born in Japan and flying on planes since I was 3 months old has something to do with it, who knows? Anyway, I loved my brand new, shiny, Navy-blue Jeep brand luggage, that held the hope and promise of thrilling adventures to far off places. It only took a few years for me to wear out that set and need new suitcases yet again, but if my suitcases could talk, oh the stories they would tell of fantastic and fun times traveling to spots around the world and back again.

Some of those places I visited for a quick 40 hours (thank you, RyanAir, for 5 euro tickets from Berlin to Shannon, Ireland), others for a few weeks, and some still for a couple years. Every time I went, I experienced a new culture, often a new language, a new way of seeing the world and living life. And still now, every time I go, I want to see more, to taste more, to stay longer, to learn more, to know people and discover all there is to see.

But my above-all-else favorite part of traveling is seeing God in the midst of “different”, seeing how the gospel truly is for every person in every culture, and learning how He can use my little, insignificant life to show His love to others and bring Him glory. I bring nothing to the table that I have not already been given, and I humbly give it back to the Lord to be used however He sees fit. For a few years those gifts were used here in the US, but now, it is time to go again and take His love to a lost and hurting world.

There are only 3 weeks left before I fly halfway around the world and see about this new life in Nepal. I’m mostly excited, although at the same time I’m working to manage my expectations as I walk into completely unknown territory. I desire to be a learner, an explorer, a listener, open to others and to what the Lord has to tell me. A year and a half ago I saw a video that started a dream to serve orphans in Nepal, and now it is becoming a reality. Through every step He has been faithful, for He cannot be anything else, and I am thankful that He is the one in charge of this expedition, no matter what happens.

On an almost unrelated note, today Little E and I are celebrating her first birthday. She turned 1 year old yesterday, so when she wakes up from her nap we are going to The Cheesecake Factory for a special birthday lunch. Maybe I’ll post a picture on here later. It is amazing that 6 months have already gone by since I started nannying her, and hard to believe that I must soon say goodbye to this precious little girl. Next week will be my last week with her, and although I know she won’t remember me after a few months go by, I am going to miss her.

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Berlin, Berlin, Wir fahren nach Berlin!

Well, briefing is over, and we are on the way to the airport! 6 staff and 11 students (fully funded!), ready to step out in faith and see what God does over the next 6 weeks in the city of Berlin! The last two days have been full of bonding together as a team, talking through our four themes for the summer – Love the Lord, Love our team, Launch movements and Learn a new world – learning about healthy conflict resolution and sharing what we hope the Lord does in and through us this summer as we minister to students.

The team!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back Row: Jeremiah, Matt, Andy, Mark, Brock, Jim, Taylor, Kevin

Front Row: Me, Nicole, Joelle, Brenda, Layne, Alyssa, Sara, Lindsay, Miette

 

Some prayer requests:

– Smooth flight over – no cancelations or delays, no fears for our first time flyers!

– Rest on the plane

– For God to be glorified through us as we travel for the next 18 hours together, that we would speak with love and grace, be patient and caring towards one another

– That God would continue to prepare the hearts of the people we are going to talk to

– For boldness and courage as we begin this great adventure!

Thanks friends! I’ll be back with another update on the other side of the ocean. 🙂

Thankful Thursday: May 31

1. My family. I was able to go back to DC this past week and spend time with my parents, grandparents, and brother and sister-in-law, and her parents too! Amidst the laughter and jokes, I realized what a blessing it is to be a part of my family. I love them so much!

The Clan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Heartbeats. We got to hear baby Franklin’s heartbeat over the weekend, which was so fun! To know that there is a life growing in my sister’s womb, someone who God designed before the world even began, who will be born and grow into exactly who God wants them to be, is awe-inspiring.

3. Books on CD. Why have I not taken them on every single road trip?? They make 10 hour car drives fly by!

4. Skirts. I made it to the end of skirt-a-day May, and I realized that I have a lot of skirts, and love all of them. They are so feminine and cute. 🙂

5. Only 10 days until Berlin Summer Project begins!!!

Thankful Thursday: March 15th

My 5 Thursday Things…

1. Recovery days after my trip to Africa. Thankful today that I had two days to sleep, reflect, and re-adjust after a whirlwind week in Benin!

2. Flip flops. The weather here is completely ridiculous(ly awesome). 70’s and sunny every day. Yes, please. I’ll take spring a month early. Better get on with planting my garden so things will grow! Planning on lots of wild flowers this year, since those are easy and they worked so great last year.

3. New glasses. I am enjoying the transition to all-the-time glasses more than I thought I would. It’s nice that they are cute, and that my prescription sunglasses have gold sparkles on the inside. 🙂

4. Finding humor in stressful situations. On Friday as we were leaving Benin to head home, Brye, Brenda, Katie and I almost missed our flight – really. It’s a long, hilarious story that I will write a full post about, as it fully deserves one. But, in the midst of figuring out if we were going to have to re-book our flight, and the passport guy telling us he was tired and wanted to go home, and going through some measure of security 5 times between check-in and sitting in our seats, we just laughed. A lot.

5. Fellow thankful thursday-ers. Two of my friends have started a Thankful Thursday post on their blogs as well! It is fun to see the different things the Lord puts in our lives for which we are all thankful!

Thankful Thursday: March 1st

What a great way to start a brand new month! Today, thankful for these 5 things:

1. Africa!! When I woke up this morning I was hit smack in the face with God’s grace as I thought about leaving today for Benin. It has been 5.5 years since I was last on that great continent, and I have been praying for an opportunity to go back ever since. I do not deserve to have this prayer answered, and yet in His grace and mercy He opened a door for me to return. Humbled, thankful, and excited to be there for whatever He has in store for this week!

2. Five men in the application process for Berlin! Praying for 5 more to start an application this week.

3. New glasses! On my way to pick them up right now, just in time to leave…

4. Rides to the airport. Thankful for Sarah and Thao’s willingness to take time out of their days to take me to the airport and pick me up when I return. They are a blessing!

5. Travel size amenities. Since I am only going to be in country 7 days, I decided that I would just take a carry-on and backpack for this trip. No checked bag though means 3 oz or less for all my toiletries. Eek! But, I did it!! And my carry-on even has some room left over. I am going to take a picture, because this has NEVER happened before, and may never happen again. Although one of my life goals is to learn how to pack light, so maybe this is a first baby step in that direction…