(Disclaimer: I have decided that I am going to use this blog as journal for myself before, during, and after my mission trip. I want to remember and hold on to every small detail of this journey. I have been so humbled through this experience already and I don't want to forget ANY of it! I know that God is changing my life--- changing my life for the better!)
Once I "gave in" to God's plan and fully committed to going to Ethiopia, I had to quickly start fundraising! This being my first mission trip, I had NO idea the work that went into the planning! Raising $3000 in such a short amount of time seems like a HUGE task. And well it is. But, God is just that much bigger! He provided more than I could have ever dreamed.
So, after sending a letter to many of closest friends and relatives, the support started POURING in! Prayers, monetary donations, and words of encouragement that humbled me and made me realize just how right things can be. Restated: God's plan is perfect. Don't question it. I have never been more confident about anything in my whole life.
But, I need to say a few thank you's.... Thank you's to everyone who supported me, prayed for me, and guided me. You are a true blessing to my life.
First, I would like to thank ALL of my friends, family, and loved ones who are praying for me. Your prayers give me so very much. Whenever I am flooded with weakness, inadequacy, worry, and nerves, God fills me with such comfort. I would, also, like to thank all of you who supported me financially. Because GOD is SOOO good, I am FULLY funded! What an awesome God we serve. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for making this journey possible. It means more to me than you could ever know.
Next, I would like to thank a very dear friend of mine, Michael Ruiz. Michael and I have been co-workers for four years and during that time, we have created a very special friendship. One that I know will last me my whole life through and for that I am grateful.
Michael is the leader of middle school boy's bible study group and he and his group hosted one incredible car wash fundraiser. Although it was a cloudy day, his team raised a significant amount of money that topped off the remainder of my fundraising as well as donating a large chunk directly to The Forsaken Children. Besides the money, the support I felt from Michael, as well as, the parents from my school was unbelievable. I found myself that day feeling completely overwhelmed. I knew I worked at a great school but I think, at times, I took that blessing for granted. (as I take many of the blessings in my life...a work in progress, that's me!) The way that community came together to support me was humbling, at the very least. Former and current parents and students showed up that day as well as students and parents that I have never taught. They came for a car wash but ALL were quick to jump right in and help. Children holding signs on the side of Poplar Avenue was quite the sight!!! The feeling of gratitude that swept over me was one I could never put into words. Ever. So, because I can think of nothing else to adequately express my appreciation, THANK YOU, Michael and my GES family for making me understand even better that this is right. My life is as it should be. Michael, thank you for going above and beyond to support me through this journey and most of all, thank you for your friendship.
Dorothy and Abby, two of my 1st grade babies, came by after soccer! They held these signs on the corner of Poplar Avenue and Germantown Parkway for over an hour.
(Side note- As they excitedly helped out, Dorothy looked at Abby and said, "This is so cool. I can't wait to write about this is my journal on Monday." Abby replied, "I know and I am going to draw us and these signs with Miss Feathers standing behind us!"
Talk about a proud teacher... my kids write about their weekend every Monday in their journal and they were planning their journals on a Saturday!
Sweet, shy Carly getting donations from people at the red light! She was too precious. Her line went something like this..."Help support the kids in E-thi-o-p-uh! One dollar will make a big difference!" She raised over $100 by herself!
Also, I would like to thank my first grade team. They threw me the most awesome "shower" to get supplies for my trip and I RACKED up! I was showered with clothes, shoes, school supplies, and other materials to take to the children. Thank you so much, Kathy, Chrystal, Julia, Lindsey, Tracie, and Diana for loving me. I feel so blessed to be a part of your team and I feel your graciousness each and every day. You all were so thoughtful to think of me. I can't wait to take the goodies to the children.
The set up in the lounge. Yummy cake and peach tea!
Me and Kathy B!
To my K-kids(a group of 4-5th graders who serve in the community), thank you for all of the school supplies and the first aid supplies you brought to our last meeting. Each of you is spectacular and I have been so proud to be your sponsor this year. I know that giving is in the motto of our club but your willingness to help meant so much.
So... thank you ALL for graciously loving me but more importantly for loving Him. His plans are great. Your support truly means everything to me. God is so good.