Thursday, January 6, 2011

One last entry before my flight to Zimbabwe...

So, let's just put it this way: my bags have probably been packed and re-packed about 3 times today. I am so nervous a bag is going to be lost or stolen or that I'm going to forget something!! I probably packed WAY more than I needed too, but I figure I'll most likely give away half my clothes anyway and it's better to be more prepared than not prepared enough. I've packed multiple packs of wipes and sanitizer and a roll of toilet paper in my carry-on (I've heard there is sometimes a scarcity of toilet paper and sometimes none at all). I've packed all sorts of medicine like advil, tylenol, tension headache stuff, bug bite cream, immodium, and tums. I've heard the fruit there is AMAZING but can cause some pretty nasty stomach issues and diahrea. So gotta be prepared for that! I've got everything from tanks, t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and a sweatshirt or two (it gets cool at night). I've got my camera (and frank's actually), batteries, magazines and books and a journal for the plane ride. I packed a ridiculous amount of underwear...cuz you never wanna be short on those. And I'm still nervous!!!
You know, it's kinda strange how we grow up in a society so focused on success, being prepared and educated, and focused on being equiped with stuff to make us feel more secure. Like, tonight as I'm in bed thinking about the trip I've been so focused on the stuff in my bags: do I have enough shirts? do I have enough underwear? do I have adequate amounts of soap and wipes to clean myself? do I have a first aid kit, all kinds of medicines and plastic bags "just in case"? It's funny because maybe the truth is, no matter how much stuff I pack, I still won't be prepared for what I will see in a day or 2. No amount of stuff is going to make me comfortable when I look into the eyes of an infant with AIDS or with some sort of birth defect, a child without clothes or food, a pregnant woman who just walked 20 miles just to give birth to her child at a hospital, a man who cannot provide enough for his family. No amount of clothes or soap or money could ever prepare me for what these people will teach me. I am so overwhelmed with excitement for the things that I will learn. If I left all of my possessions there and just came back with what they will teach me about life, about joy, about love, and about their culture--I think I will be okay :) Remembering these things makes me feel less frantic and like maybe the point of this whole trip is to surrender to the control I am so in love with. To let go and actually feel uncomfortable, feel vulnerable, and feel afraid. Maybe this way I will learn more anyway. Just thoughts.

So...I will stop packing and unpacking and racking my brain for something else I can fit into my suitcases and I will lay in my bed, pray really hard for safety and for strength and for an enormous amount of courage. And I will try to get some rest.

I will wake up at 4:00am tomorrow morning and start the drive to the JFK airport at 5am. My flight takes off at 10:40 and I should be arriving in Harare, Zimbabwe around 1pm on Saturday. PLEASE pray for me and my team to have open hearts, courage, strength, and wisdom. Please pray for safe flights and health while we are there. Please pray that God would make it clear to us what we can do while we are there, why we are there, and what we can take back with us to share with everyone here. I can't thank everyone enough for your support and endless encouragement through this whole process!! I appreciate everything.

I will be arriving home to JFK airport Sunday morning January 16th. As soon as I am able, I will send out a message on FB to say I have arrived back in the US safely. And as soon as I am able I will start typing my journal entries for the week so that you can journey through my trip through those :) And you better believe I will post pictures ASAP!! Thanks again. I love you all!!


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