Yes, that's right. I will be traveling to Ecuador this June. I have been waiting 9 long years to go back, and now God has seen fit to use me there once again.
Not that He doesn't already use me! Gracious me, He keeps me rather busy, He does. And I love it. I may get tired, discouraged, and all around down, but He is the One who always shows me what He has done, even when I didn't realize I was a part of it. He is amazing.
I love that place. Truly. It is not only a beautiful country, rich in history, landscape, and culture. But the people...oh, the people! They are beautiful. They are friendly. They need Jesus.
There are many Christians there already, but there are other religions as well. And that is why we are going. We are going for Bible studies, children's Bible School, to spend time with orphaned children, to build a playground, but most of all, to minister to the souls God chooses to put in our path. You see, this is what God has called His people to do...to take the Gospel of Christ to the far ends of the earth.
I am going with a large group from my church, 38 people. We will be with the same missionaries we were with when we went the last time, only there were only 8 of us, and it was a singing mission. This trip promises to be something different for me, something I have never truly experienced, and I am so excited I can't hardly stand it. Give me patience, Jesus!
A couple of other things are different this time. The last trip, we sent letters to family and friends to raise our funds. And of course, most of us were also making payments, and saving up spending money. This time, there will be a couple of small fund raisers.
But my husband and I have decided we are paying for my trip ourselves. We are not sending letters to anyone. We are not finding other ways to raise money. We are simply...trusting God.
My inner self tells me that if God truly wishes me to be on this trip, then He is going to fund it. And the way I am handling it is that I won't be a burden to someone else. Times are tough right now, for alot of folks. But when I make my payments, I am finding God has rearranged our finances in some different way. I can't explain it and I don't need to. It's God. Simply put, it's just Him! And because He has been so gracious to us, my trip is nearly paid for! Hooray!
Over the next couple of months, we will be preparing. The greatest preparation we can do is to pray. Prayer is the answer to everything; it is the beginning, and it should be the end, when we give the praise and thanksgiving, and all the glory, to the God who made it all possible. Whatever the 'it' may be. So we are praying for the trip itself. We pray for the souls and hearts being prepared by a Holy God. We pray for the missionaries, who are preparing for our arrival, and into whose hands God is entrusting us. We pray for our prayer partners, who intercede for us daily. We pray for our families, for the time we are away. And we pray for one another. We all know satan comes against us the most when we are stepping out in faith for something, so you know he hates we are going, that we WANT to go, and what we will be doing once we arrive there.
So this is what I ask of you, whether you know me or not. Whether you understand about mission trips or not. If you are a Christian, I covet your prayers. Pray that I will pray, and that I will pray consistantly. I am already doing this, but you know how life can 'get in the way' of prayer, and Bible Study. Pray that I will keep my eyes on the goal, to serve Him, not myself. Pray for safety, for our entire team, pray good health, and pray for the divine appointments we are anticipating. Most of all, please, please, just pray that God's will be done.
I do not deny that I will enjoy the trip for other reasons. It is an adventure, and the older I get, the more I crave adventure! It is a beautiful place, full of mystery, waterfalls, glorious birds and monkeys...the most beautiful flowers and trees you could ever want to see. I see God's hand in every single thing there. But I see it here as well. He is everywhere. And He expects us to always be on a mission field of some sort...even if it be in our own living room, or at the fence with our neighbor in the back yard. You needn't travel to another country to be a successful missionary. If your heart belongs to Christ, you are one.
I thank you in advance for your prayers, for your good wishes. And be assured I will be providing you with details and pictures upon my return. For what God has done in our lives, we will share His glory with others, and constantly sing songs of praise to Him, and Him alone.