Monday, August 2, 2010

The time is drawing near...

Before I know it I will be boarding a plane headed to Belgium! On September 9th I will be heading to Belgium for a 10-day trip. I can't believe it's already August for crying out loud! We will be facilitating a women's conference at the church we're visiting. We'll be helping out at several different homeless shelters in the area. We'll be helping behind the scenes at a youth conference being organized by the youth team that is traveling with us. And...we'll be doing whatever else the host pastor asks us to. It's going to be a BUSY week! We'll also find some time to sight see...including a day-trip to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower! (Speaking of which, I've got a meeting tonight to start our crash course in French! Thank goodness I remember a little bit of it from junior high...ou est le bain?)

Suddenly, I have a little more than one month to finish up the notes for my message...write a small devotional...and gather the rest of my funds. This means I need to send out my donation letter...SOON. It's written. I have nice paper to print it on. I have envelopes. Now...all I need to do is print it out and send it out!

I have to say...God has provided SO MUCH of what I need already...and completely by FAITH. When I first learned I was going to Belgium, it was stressed to me that I needed to send out a giving letter right away. I mean, you can't travel overseas without funds, right? But...I never felt any sense of urgency to get it written. And honestly, whenever I did try to write it, it sounded like a 2nd grader had written it! The words just wouldn't flow onto the paper. (And if you've been visiting me long...you know my words flow...sometimes TOO much! Lack of words is not as issue I deal with often...ahem.) So...after much frustration and a few tears I just didn't send a letter out.

Instead, I made prints and cards using some of my photos and put them up for sale. And people, in support of me, bought them. I took part in an art show...and people bought my wares...in support of me. I even went so far as to place a "Donate" button on my blog...something I was NOT comfortable with at all...but felt like it was something that God wanted me to do. And do you know that the very next day I was gifted a very generous donation by a friend far away who wanted to help?! I was blown away!

Then...I began receiving money in the mail. People would email me and ask for my mailing address so they could send me "a little something". Next thing I know I'm receiving money in the mail in support of my trip to Belgium. And then I get an envelope at church. It's full of 20 dollar bills and simply marked "Michelle...for Belgium". Another gal at my church set aside $50 for me out of her fixed income...because she wanted to help. Family has given...generously. Friends have given...generously. It just kept happening...as I least expected it...someone would hand me money or a check...for Belgium.

When I didn't feel that sense of urgency to send out a letter at the beginning of all of this, I didn't force it. And after a while, I just really felt like God was wanting to show me HIS provision. It was like He was saying, "Watch Michelle...watch what I can do...for you." So...I watched. And He showed me. He showed me His provision...through you. By faith...through generous friends and family (and even a few strangers!)...God provided everything I needed for my airfare as well as a bit of spending money. And I am grateful.

Then, as if the a year has gone by in a flash...I'm leaving in a month! Suddenly, I'm feeling down to the wire. I still have roughly a thousand dollars left to raise. When the trip was first being planned it was thought that we were not going to have to pay for a place to stay. That has changed. We will have to pay for our rooms. It was also thought that we would have access to a kitchen to prepare many of our meals ourselves. That...has changed. We will now need to purchase many meals out. I also recently learned that sometimes you have to PAY to go to the bathroom!! If you want clean facilities, that is. (And...I pretty much do!)

With all of that being said...please consider this a humble request for support. If you would like to donate to the Belgium fund, there are a couple of ways to do so...

One...I can send you a donation letter in the mail. Email me privately with your mailing address and I will get it sent out to you. The letter is good in that it can be used as a "receipt" for tax purposes should you want to write it off.

Two...if you would like to donate but don't need a letter, I still have the Paypal Donate button in place in the upper left corner of my blog if you'd prefer to contribute that way.

And...as always...support me in prayer. Pray that my words are God's words. Pray that I can be an encouragement. Pray for safe travels. And pray that this trip is for God's glory...not our own.

 Thank you so much for joining me on this journey...we're almost there!

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." - Isaiah 6:8

5 comments:

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

I was just on your site last night wondering how this was going! Praise the Lord!!! I'm so glad to get to hear how He is providing!

Thanks for sharing. I know it's hard for you to do, but how else can we rejoice with you and see God at work?

ThyHandHathProvided said...

I can't believe your trip is almost here! God is going to use you and teach YOU- I just know it and can't wait to hear about what He has revealed to you through this experience. I hope you can feel my prayers and hugs!

Mari said...

Lots of work yet to do...this month will fly by. I"m so excited for you! I would love to help somehow.
I'll send you an email soon!
xoxo

李吳俊其彥柏 said...

凡事三思而行,跑得太快是會滑倒的。..................................................

underthebigbluesky said...

sending you a little bit today to help! what a great cause you are to support Michelle! And prayers, one each day you think? lol.

just make me a promise. DON"T forget a camera!