Almost on my way…

28 08 2007

Well, this week I am on house arrest writing papers for my summer classes, but I thought I’d take a minute to procrastinate and update you on my upcoming Kenya trip. I leave in just 8 days! My friend Kacy made me a paper chain to count down the days, and it is getting so small! To the right is a picture of some of my teammates, on our way home from a weekend retreat in Mexico. Yes, we are wearing mustaches, and yes, that is me in the front looking the most manly of them all (sigh). it was a long drive home and there are mostly girls on the team, so we thought we’d man up for a moment. As you can tell, we kind of like each other.

I’ll attach a copy of my prayer letter below, in case you haven’t seen it. Please pray! Also, here is a link to the website for Empowering Lives International, the organization I’ll be working with. There is another important link in the text of the prayer letter where you can access updates during my trip, but I’ll just give it to you here:

Baraka (blessings)!
Hello! You are receiving this email because you have either committed to prayerfully support me on my upcoming trip to Kenya, or I have decided that you should.  I have been overwhelmed by both the financial and prayer support of my friends and family over the past few months of preparation. Please know that I am so excited to include you on this journey and am utterly dependent on your prayers – your prayers are a vital part of ministry (they ARE ministry!) and they will have a lasting impact on my life and the lives of the Kenyans I meet! Because of this, I would like to give you a few updates and specific prayer requests as I get ready to leave!

Believe it or not, the trip is fast approaching (FINALLY!) – we leave in just ten days! Please make note of the trip dates in your calendar or somewhere you can see them and therefore remember to pray DAILY: Wednesday, September 5th — Friday, September 21st. I would also like to ask those of you who are willing/able to fast one day during my trip and to really pray hard that day. If you could take a look at your calendar and email me back the day you will be fasting, that would be a great encouragement to me, and I can remember to pray for you too! Fasting is in no way required, and can be fasting from anything, not necessarily food, but if you can/want to do this it would be a great encouragement! At a minimun, it will make a great difference in my trip if you can commit to pray for at least a few minutes each day while I am in Kenya.

1. I am immunized! I hate to say it, but this was a big test of my faith, and my commitment to this trip.  Luckily, I made it through and am now more protected against Typhoid Fever, Yellow Fever, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis A (and B!), and Malaria. Does anyone else feel woozy?

2. I have raised all the support needed! Thanks to your generous support, I have raised not only enough to cover the cost of my trip, but also the $600 needed for my immunizations. God is so good to provide! I still have to do the final accounting, but if there is any left over money, know that it will go toward aiding another team member, or directly to the orphans in Kenya.
3. Over the past few months, our team has met on various occassions, including a weekend retreat in Mexico. Everyone seems to get along well with each other and I am excited to go through this with this group. They are great people!

Prayer Requests:
1. HEALTH AND SAFETY. Please pray continually for the health and safety of our group. We have two red-eye flights during our three-day trek to the village of Kipkaren in Northwest Kenya. Pray for energy and stamina and safety as we travel, so that we can hit the ground running when we arrive. We will be at a high altitude and eating new foods, so please pray for our adjustment to these things. For me particularly, I know my body tends to be prone to sickness, so pray that I will stomache the malaria medication and the food, and also that I will have good health when I return. I start fall classes two days after we return! I think on every short term missions trip I’ve gone on before, I have returned very ill (in bed for days with a fever). Pray that God will protect me from that experience this time around!

2. TEAM DYNAMICS. Please pray for the team, that God would protect us from pride and division, and that we would manage conflict well. Pray for God’s will to be done in each of our lives and for our hearts to be humble toward one another. And pray for the good stuff too: for laughter and joy in the midst of the sorrow we see, and for lifelong friendships to be built. The members of the team are: Me, Kacy, Erin, Roxy, Joanne, Christina, Carolyn, Kathy, Brian A., and Bryan S.

3. SPIRITUAL WARFARE. Any time we do things for the Kingdom of God, we are bound to face attack from the enemy, whose desire is to “steal, kill, and destroy.” Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4: “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” Some of the work we will do in Kenya will seem more “spiritual” in nature, teaching orphans about Jesus, but the “practical” stuff is spiritual too. As we build classrooms for the orphans who can’t go to school without them, and as we help develop leadership skills in the villagers so they can create livelihoods and gain employable skills, we will be doing spiritual things then, too. Poverty itself has a spiritual dimension. Please pray that whether in word or deed, we would be able to stand strong against the enemy (who will try to interrupt our work) and that we will have courage and wisdom with how to inject the hope of Christ into this community of hundreds of kids who have no parents because of the AIDS endemic.

4. DISCERNMENT. For me personally, I ask that you will pray A LOT for discernment while I am on this trip. I have been taking many classes over the past year about relief and development work, and am excited to see first-hand what that looks like. As I am in the process of listening to God and figuring out my calling/direction in life, please pray that this trip will help my discovery and that I will HEAR GOD’S VOICE. Pray for a renewed sense of God’s presence in my life. As I learn from and love on these kids, please pray for a renewed sense of calling on my life…that I will have a tangible next step to take when I return.

THANK YOU so much for your willingness to pray for me and my team during this time, and for the Kenyans as well. I will send you any updates if needed before my trip, but otherwise, please bookmark this page: We will NOT send prayer emails while in Kenya, but we WILL occassionally post updates on ELI’s blog. Please be sure to check it between September 5th and 21st so you can hear how we are doing and know how to pray. If possible, I will also post the updates on my personal blog: But I won’t know if I can do that until I am in Kenya.

Again, don’t forget to email me back if/when you can fast, and mark your calendars to pray every day if you can!

With Gratitude,
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus . It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus . And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” – Philippians 1:3-11.