Sunday, March 30, 2008

The 411

It's been a while since I have posted anything so I thought it would be a good idea to put an update on where I am in getting to Paris and all that is currently happening.
Things are going really well, I have been introduced to so amazing people and it looks like so great potential fundraising events are going to be happening soon.
A few weeks ago my mom hosted a luncheon for me where family members and a few of her friends came. I had a great time, I enjoyed being able to share with my family what I will be doing as well as meeting a few of my mom's friends.
Every day seems to be going by so quickly and that my day is filled with to do lists. People I need to call, appointments I need to set up, correspondence I need to respond to. It seriously like having another full time job. But I am having a great time with it all. I just know that it will all be worth it once I finally arrive to the office in Paris and will be doing the work I am preparing for now.
It has been suggested that I put my donation information on my blog so for those of you interested here you go:
1. You can mail a check to me made out to Campus Crusade. If you need my address leave a comment and I will get it to you.
2. Go to this link and then you can make a donation to my account using a Credit Card.
I still have a long way to go until I have completed my fundraising but I know that this Mission is where God wants me to be and that in his timing all my funds will be raised.
I greatly appreciate all of you out there who are following me on this journey, praying for me, and keeping me encouraged. I couldn't do this without you all.
All my love!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Turkey? That's Random...

So for those who don't know... I went to Turkey! It was fabulous and very last minute. Yes the destination is not one that you would generally pinpoint as a place to go and visit. But I did! The most common reaction I would get when telling others I was leaving for 7 days to go to Turkey was... "Turkey? That's really random?" or even better those who weren't even aware I went out of town, let alone to a foreign country that most people only identify as the main dish during our great American holiday in November (Thanksgiving for those of you who are a bit slower ;) ). Suffice to say, people thought it was quite strange. But I then pose the question to them... when do I ever do anything that is normal? I am usually random, so it would almost be more "random" for me to be at the movies then making a one week trip to a country afar.
Well after that long introduction... I should probably tell you a bit more about my trip. I'll hit all the most asked questions and try to tapper in stories when I see fitting and exciting enough to occupy your time.
Question One: "Turkey? That's random... why are you going to Turkey?" Or "WHAT? You went to Turkey? Who the heck goes to Turkey?
Answer One: I go to Turkey... when invited by Campus Crusade to get a better idea of what I am going to be doing when I finally take the plunge, pack my bags, and move to Paris. I helped out with the annual Leadership development conference and met all the people who will be working in my office. (this is the main part of my work as well once in the office)
What I really did... Stapled packets, laughed at many ridiculous situations, pumped up 200 balloons, drank lots and lots of coffee (about 10 cups a day), enjoyed the beautiful view of the beach that our hotel was appreciatively located on, and met many fantastic people who live in over 22 different countries.
Question Two: How was the food?
Answer Two: It was really good. There was plenty of it. Lots of fresh meats, veg's, fruits, TONS of coffee and tea, and the best part was the great baklava (Sp?) at the end of each meal. Yum.
Question Three: How long was the flight?
Answer Three: I flew from LAX-Frankfurt (10.5 hrs). Then a 2 hr layover. Then Frankfurt-Istanbul (3 hrs) and then from Istanbul to Antalya (1 hr.) Long enough. and I don't sleep well on planes so... I was quite out of it by the time I finally arrived to my hotel.
Question Four: Best Part?
Answer Four: There were many great moments. I met a new fantastic friend named Stephanie and I don't know what I would have done without her there. We literally spent every moment together for 7 days. But we got along really well and that made the trip all the more memorable. And I quite enjoyed laughing at her and me during some of our more long moments of the day or experiences in a new country.
I greatly enjoyed watching the people attending the conference relax and interact. There were about 200 people who attended this conference many of whom are what they refer to as MBB's (Muslim Back Ground Believers). When at home these people live with the daily reality and fear that their belief in Christ can be cause for the end of their life. Betrayal of their families, assuming they even still have contact with their family. Many of their families have turned their backs on these people. It was beautiful to watch what mirrored a huge reunion for many of the people. A place where they could feel at rest, safe, and with people who understand the trials they face daily.
Another amazing fact about these people is that they are all such bright lights in some of the darkest regions of the world today. These missionaries are from Iraq, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, and 25 other middle eastern countries. Places where such negative and painful connotations are associated. But these people... they have hope, they have joy, they have peace and it was encouraging to know that even in these places where such despair, darkness, and destruction are named characteristics, these people are characterized as ambassadors of truth, joyful in all circumstances, persevering, and loving to all people. They have powerful stories, a passionate love of the Lord, and a faith that I can only strive to emulate after.
Turkey... yes it was random. Yes it was fantastic. And Yes I can't wait to go back again and be an encourager to those who taught me valuable lessons, in the one week I had the opportunity to meet, serve, and glimpse into the reality of their life.

Next stop... Paris. (I hope!)