I'm Going to Haiti!
A week ago (Sunday) my pastor mentioned in church that Volunteers in Mission (VIM) teams were going to Haiti on pretty much a weekly basis, and an image that I had seen in the newspaper that morning popped into my head: Haitian children wading through waist-deep water after their already ravaged country was flooded by a tropical storm. And just like that I decided I wanted to go to Haiti with a VIM team. On Tuesday Pastor Amy forwarded me an email about a team from the Baltimore-Washington Conference that had an opening for a trip in December. Less than a month away. Wednesday I got a response from the team leader with the dates (Dec. 9-17), the cost ($1,350 - relatively low for a trip of that type), and a few other details. Friday morning I got the green light from work, and today I talked to the team leader for the first time. What a week.
Haiti has been on my heart since the earthquake almost a year ago, but with school, work, and other travels it never seemed realistic to try to go help out. Sunday morning I was excited about the idea of going, but then the more I thought about it, the more unlikely it seemed that I would find a trip at a time when I could be away from work. I decided to ask about upcoming trips and if I was meant to go, I would find a time that worked. As it happens, December 9-17 is probably the best possible time between now and next November, except that I have to get everything ready for Winter Wonder a week early. It seems as though things are falling into place pretty well, which is encouraging.
I won't pretend that the idea of committing to a mission trip knowing very few details and with over a thousand dollars to raise in the next week or so. It kind of makes me feel a little nauseous, actually. But this is one of those times that the Spirit is prompting and I am trying to listen and follow. On Tuesday I am meeting the team leader, and I'll get more details about the trip itself then. Fortunately, I have a valid passport already, and even have some of the shots I need.
My biggest concern is obviously the fund-raising aspect... and that is where you all come in. I need $750 immediately to cover the cost of my airfare and insurance, and the rest of the money immediately. I've set up a chipin account to raise money, which uses paypal to collect secure donations online. If you would like to donate to my trip fund, I would appreciate any amount you can give. If you can't donate money, I would appreciate your prayers and encouragement. This is an exciting and somewhat nerve-wracking new adventure... thanks for your support!