There’s something you should know about me. Something you maybe (probably) already know.
I am afraid.
Of lots of things. (Spiders.) I’m anxious about showing up in a new situation and having no idea how to behave. Nervous about traveling alone. Worried beyond belief about life in general, as the title of post-grad-job-searching-20-something looms on my horizon.
And let’s talk about how I worry about Africa.
The overwhelmingly daunting task of raising the $3,995 I need for this trip. The idea of flying to a brand new country, with a group of people I don’t know, to participate in some form of ministry. Having to talk about my faith and my life with strangers, whether one-on-one or (ack) in front of a group.
What if I don’t raise the money? What if my team doesn’t like me? What if I’m bad at the ministry? What if I get sick? What if I say the wrong thing? What if I pack the wrong clothes? What if there are spiders?
I’m anxious about everyday life in Greensboro. I’m a basket case when it comes to international missions.
But something happens when you spend two weeks traveling around Europe – which, by the way, I just did. One week with a friend, four days on my own, and then another four days with a different friend.
You better believe I was anxious about this trip. 15 days, 3 countries, 5 cities. I did my research, I wrote down directions, I Googled everything I could think of (“how to use the bus in Italy”), printed off all my hostel reservations and plane tickets, crammed my belongings into my backpack, and prayed. A lot.
I prayed for help when we were lost outside Venice. I prayed that I wouldn’t miss my shuttle to the airport in Paris. I prayed that I was getting on the right bus every time I got on a bus. I prayed for good hostel situations, and sunshine during my days. I prayed for guidance every single time I looked at a map. I prayed safety over my entire trip.
And oh, He provided.
We traveled by plane, train, bus, boat, subway, taxi – and all was well. Hostels were found. Planes were caught. I never got lost. All the things that could have gone wrong – nothing really went wrong. And I was blessed in so many little ways on that trip. The woman who overheard us talking waiting for the boat in Venice, and gave us walking directions to Piazza San Marco, which we wouldn’t have seen if not for her. The incredibly kind metro officer in Paris, the third one I spoke to when my 5-day ticket wasn’t being accepted by the machines, who replaced my ticket for me where the others hadn’t helped. My friend April’s host mother in Florence, who invited me over for a home-cooked Italian meal – three nights in a row. The owner of a cafe in Budapest who handed us free slices of cream cake after we had finished our pastries. Hundreds of little things, little provisions, that left me with a smile on my face and a heart rejoicing thank you, Lord.
I learned so much during those two weeks. Traveling Europe is a crash-course in life, and easily one of the most intense growing experiences I’ve had so far. I expected to face my fears of traveling alone, but I didn’t expect to learn so much about trust, provision, and prayer.
These truths I learned: There is no worry too small to take to Him, and no gift so small it doesn’t deserve praise. And in ways great as well as small, God provides.
My God is God in Venice and Paris and Budapest and Malta and Virginia and North Carolina. My God is God in Africa, too. My God listens, my God protects, my God guides. And my God provides.
What then have I to fear?
East Africa update time!
July is getting sooner and sooner. It’s surreal, because here in Malta I’m so focused on the rest of the semester and the end of the semester and going home…and then a week later, I’m gone again and off to Africa. As the trip grows closer, I’m getting more excited – but also more nervous. I’ve been telling myself on a daily basis that God is good and God provides.
I’m so, so grateful to everyone who has donated to my fundraising and continues to bless me with prayer and encouragement. I couldn’t be doing this trip without you, and your love and support mean the world to me. My 75% deadline is coming up soon! I need to have raised $3,000 by May 1, which is just a week and a half away! I need another $655 to meet this deadline. Please, if you haven’t yet, prayerfully consider supporting me on this trip. Any donation, no matter how small, makes a difference. And I promise donating is quick and easy! All of the details can be found on my support page. Or you can click this, which takes you directly to AIM’s donation page! Just fill in my name, select “The Passport”, and you’re good to go.
As always, thank you. From the bottom of my heart.