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Ethiopia or Bust

For a while I have been considering whether or not God was calling me to go on a mission trip to Ethiopia this summer with our agency adoption agency AWAA.  Our agency has ACT mission trips to different countries to care for orphans in the orphanages and transition homes that they work with.

The Sunday before Christmas, we were visiting my mom and dad's house in Ft. Worth.  We couldn't be home that Sunday to be at Citychurch, but I really wanted to be in church that Sunday.  We decided to go to Village Baptist Church in Ft. Worth.  We arrived early, and as we were sitting and waiting for church to begin, I asked James, "Is it crazy to spend money on a mission trip when we are trying to save money for our adoption?"  James I assured me that he didn't think it was.  Their pastor Matt Chandler went on to preach one of the best Christmas messages I have ever heard.  During his sermon, he made the statement, "It is never wasted money to send someone overseas."  I proceeded to hit James on the leg.  God was giving me confirmation.  (I do realize that my husband is confirmation enough, but that was just icing.)

So now I was sure I was going.  That night I began to fill out the online application for the mission trip, but I wanted to make sure I picked the right dates.  I was pretty sure that our new friends from Perryton would be going on the trip July, and I could go at the same time.  But I found out pretty quickly that they had accepted a referral for two little boys from Ethiopia.  Since they will be traveling for court dates and to bring home their boys soon, they would not be going on the July mission trip.

My other new friends that are adopting from Ethiopia, Barry and Shelly Wilson, from Amarillo, expressed interest in going on the mission trip in August.  It would be just an extra blessing to get to know them better as we serve together on the trip.

August 15-24th are the dates.  I almost want to start packing my bags now.

I can't wait to get my hands on those orphans and be Jesus's love to them in a real way.  I am praying for them all the time, but being a tangible blessing to them will be such a blessing to me.

I have absolutely no expectations of finding the little boy we are going to adopt or picking out a kid.  I want to look at everyone of those boys and girls with a fierce love in an equal way.  I just want to serve them, even if it in a extremely small way and for only a few days.

I love how the book of James puts it in James 1:27, "Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world."

How I long for that worship that is pure and undefiled to the One I love.

James had planned to go to South Sudan in January on a Citychurch mission trip.  That trip has been postponed because of the violence and potential civil war that has been happening there since the last week of December.  Since he did not go to Africa in January, he has been invited to go on a mission trip to Burkina Faso with Lost But Not Forgotten ministries in March.  Please be praying for that trip.  The villages that they will be visiting are mainly Muslim.  James is going with the express focus of reaching children in those villages for Christ.

Praise God for opportunities to serve as missionaries to Africa!