As I noted in my last post, April was a full month.
I spent the first weekend in Arkansas with my dear friend, Liz. Any time spent with her is edifying and incredibly fun. We rocked out to Miley, ate good food, met this church family that seems pretty great, took a long walk, did some social things, shopped, went to Missouri, cooked, watched movies from Redbox and had a Mindy marathon. I saw my first prairie and rode in a car with Lizzie driving for the first time ever! Our friendship is pretty special – we started out as friends on Twitter discussing what to take on that wild adventure we were on last year, and it just grew from there. She calls me out and encourages me like no other and I appreciate that more than words.
In the midst of our conversations, my trip to the Philippines came up. I’d been having a bit of unrest about it already. I’d discussed logistics with another friend of mine and hadn’t come to a place of peace at all. Needless to say, through several conversations, I’ve decided not to go to the Philippines this summer.
Logistically, I would have to take off much more time to go than originally anticipated due to flights and time changes. Financially, the cost of buying the plane ticket was double that of the cost of my expenses in the Philippines for that one week. Spiritually, I didn’t feel that going for one week would be beneficial in the long run to building relationships as I wouldn’t be working with those people I’d ministered alongside last year while there. There are several other red flags as well, but all of that to say I will not be going.
It’s sad, yes, because I do so dearly miss the Philippines and, really, all the places I visited while abroad last year. I don’t think that will ever change. For this moment, I am sure this is the right decision.
As it turns out, I’m already highly invested in something else that will take me away from work for about three weeks this summer. I’ve posted on the reg about Drew & Amy Burnett – they’ve even been featured in several of my Gratitude blogs, because I see them every Monday night without fail for this thing we call small group. You may have even seen me talk about Running for Eden and how Drew is trying to break the speed record on the Appalachian Trail this summer to raise money for orphans in Uganda. And after he does that, they’ll move there for years and years.
Amy & Malachi are loading up this super sweet camper (see below) and tossing food/water out to Drew at all the intersections they can between Maine and Georgia. Since this is a wild trip that no one would want to miss, I’m heading their way sometime in July to help as much as I can. I’ll probably end up driving the camper some, cooking over a fire, teaching Malachi all the great things about hammocking, asking Amy tons of questions, and hopefully bringing a little laughter to this outrageous experience.
While it doesn’t seem like a “mission trip” in the general sense of the word because I’ll be with people I know and in the United States rather than jumping into completely unknown territory, this is an incredible opportunity to support people who are doing great things for the Kingdom. Without sounding too brash or needy, I’m still looking for a little support for these three weeks. I have graciously been granted leave from work for this adventure, but will not be getting paid. I still have quite a few bills that need covering during the month of July that will be hard to cover with such little work. I’m doing my best to save as much as possible between now and then, but would be so appreciative of any financial support if you feel led to do so. (The easiest way to do so would be through paypal.)
Regardless, please support Drew & Amy – their vision is incredible. I’m honored to call them friends and to walk a little bit of this life alongside people with such audacious faith. God is doing big things in and through them.