First of all, I just want to say thank you to everyone for all their support and encouragement these last few days/weeks/months. It's been a couple years of wanting to go to Africa and I can't believe I am finally going in 3 days! I am so thankful and overwhelmed with the generosity of my family and friends who have given, either financially or prayerfully, and I know that wouldn't have been possible without God working in your hearts, so ultimalely I thank and praise Him. Thank you SO MUCH! I can't tell you how many people have told me they are praying for me and how excited they are and how they know God's going to show up big time in my life and in the lives of everyone involved. So thank you is what I wanted to say, to everyone! You will all be able to see very soon the stories and pictures of lives changed that were possible through your generosity. Of course it's very overwhelming that God would use me, a very ordinary teenager, to hopefully make a difference. What a great God we serve!
I thought since Mallory and I are leaving in 3 days, and since everyone has been asking specifically what we are doing while in Ethiopia, that I would give a detailed list of what we'll be doing and how you can pray. We fly out from Seattle Tuesday night around 11:45pm. We will arrive in Dulles, D.C. early in the morning (somewhere around 7am) and around noon we fly out to Ethiopia. The girls that live in Tennessee and Mallory, who moved to Florida, will meet us in D.C. We arrive in Ethiopia around 8am their time on Thursday. On Thursday (the 27th) we will be visiting the Fistula Hospital, a hospital devoted to helping women who suffer from a fistula. Fistula is caused by giving birth without any medical help and the women then cannot control their bladder. Sadly, the surgery to fix this is only about $450 but they can't afford it. So anyway, at the Fistula Hospital, they can get the surgery for free! I am so excited to visit there.
After the Fistula Hospital (still on Thursday) we are going to the YWAM Mercy Development. This is a home for street children who are taught about the Lord and about life skills. On Friday the 29th, we'll be going to Korah, the leper colony. On Friday we'll be working with the women, ministering and serving them. On Saturday, we'll be helping at the Children's Programs at the church there, and doing games, Bible stories, and crafts with the kids. I am very excited for this part! On Sunday, we'll go to church in Korah and then leave for T'ede. When we arrive, we'll have a baby shower for the pastor's wife there.
On August 1st, Monday, we'll be at Living Hope. Living Hope is a home for young/teen moms to stay and be introduced to God's Word and taught life skills. On Tuesday the 2nd and Wednesday the 3rd, we'll be at one of the orphanages YWAM has built and supports. We'll play with the kids and serve the widows and nannies who live and work there. On Thursday we'll be in Gutumuma spending the day with the evangilists' wives and children. On Friday we'll go back to T'ede to meet with the sponsered children and widows for snacks, Bible stories, and crafts. On Saturday the 6th, we'll be visiting the YWAM Mercy Development again, and we'll also meet with the staff women there. On Sunday, we'll go to church and then do some sightseeing. On Monday, out last day in Ethiopia, we'll help at a feeding program and do some shopping. We fly out of Ethiopia at 10:15 pm and arrive back home around 5pm the next day (Tuesday).
There are several things you can pray for: safety, health, diving appointments, smooth travels, no jet lag, and most importantly, that the people of Ethiopia would feel the love of Jesus through us and come to know Him as their Savior, if they don't already. Thank you all so much for your prayers! I can't wait to tell you all about it when I come back!!!