Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tis the Season

Well, we've started the winter season with a few light dustings of snow here in Ohio. It sure does make me think of Mali! We originally were going to leave the day after Thanksgiving for a 2 week trip to Mali. That means we would be there right now. The temperature difference from Ohio to Mali is considerable! Right now, in Ohio, the temperatures have been around 30 degrees during the day. According to WeatherUnderground, the temperatures in Koutiala have been near 100 degrees during the day. I would prefer the 100 degree weather.

I got confirmation this week that preparations have begun for our March trip. Our team will begin meeting the week of December 19 to begin "team building". Our plane ticket money will be due January 9 at the latest. Initial ticket prices indicate I may have my plane ticket paid for already. I just need to turn in the rest of the money. I think I still need to raise some additional funds to cover in-country fees, my visa application, and my travel/trip insurance.

I'm looking forward to meeting the full team and sharing the excitement as we prepare to see God in action. The one thing I remember about the preparation for our trip in 2008 was experiencing God's faithfulness to the team. I've already seen God's faithfulness this year as He's provided the funds for my plane ticket. We've been praying for a full team of 8 and it sounds like we may be getting close to that! God is good and I trust that He will bring the right people to our team!

Please continue to pray for the hospital and missionaries in Mali. Also, please pray for our team as we prepare over the next 14 weeks, that we will grow closer as a team, that we will each be able to raise the funds needed to go on this trip, and that God will prepare our hearts and minds for what we will experience in Mali.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Dates

My mom commented on my last post and I realized I haven't posted this week with new information. I'm very excited. My boss has already approved my time off even though we usually don't schedule vacations until the beginning of the year. God is working in this and I can't wait to see what He's going to do with our team! We'll be purchasing plane tickets sometime in October. I've pretty much got my tickets paid for. Now, I just need to make sure I have enough for my visa and additional travel expenses (meals as we travel, in country fees, etc.)!

Please continue to pray for the hospital in Mali! Also, from newsletters, I've read that the hospital is a part of a wrongful termination law suit in Mali. They are appealing the case to a higher judge, so your prayers would be much appreciated!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Possible Date Change

It sounds like our trip may be delayed from November/December, 2010 to April/May 2011. Situations out of the teams control have required us to re-evaluate our schedule. To get a team fully prepared for November/December, 2010 may be difficult because of personal things going on in the lives of the team. Talk at this point is leaning toward moving the trip to April/May, 2011.

I have to admit I'm slightly disappointed about not going as originally scheduled, but I know it's all part of God's almighty plan. The trip WILL happen and it WILL happen at the time God would have us to go. Really, 5-6 months difference in scheduling won't affect too much. It will only mean that the tasks we'll be doing while we are there may be slightly different. The need for computer work will remain even in the spring of 2011!! This is exciting because I'm super excited about using my computer skills and even learning more from Ken!

The other reason I'm a little disappointed is because I already have received $800 in support just from sending out support letters. Along with the money that Sarah and I set aside, I have enough to get the plane ticket! God is so good! Why do I ever doubt Him?

Please continue to pray for our team as a decision is made about scheduling for the trip. Please also continue to pray for the team members and potential team members! Additionally, please pray for health concerns for one of the team members...that God will provide a way for this member to go with no worries!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Support Letters

Over the past week, I've been putting together a support letter to send out to all my friends and family. Last night, I printed it out after getting more ink for the printer. I also printed labels, which was a headache and a half. Our printer struggles to pull sheets of labels through straight. After several tries and a lot of wasted labels, I had all the labels printed.

My wife, Sarah, helped to put address labels on and cut up the little response slips I included with the letters. I signed all the letters and stuffed the envelopes. Oh ya, I was two envelopes short, so I'll have to make a store run today. I also need to get stamps. I'm excited to get these sent out and see how God provides for the remaining funds I need to be able to go.

It was so amazing to see how He provided in 2008, so I have a feeling He will outdo what He did back then. For some reason, I've got in my head that He may provide enough funds that my fundraising will be able to help another team member with their expenses. I'll say one thing, I'd never say anything is impossible with God!

If anyone out there feels God leading them to help support me through prayer or financially, feel free to contact me!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I'm Going Back!

Today was our first meeting to begin preparations for a 2010 trip to Mali, West Africa! As of right now, I'm part of a team of 4 people going to Mali in November/December, 2010. The plan right now is to leave on November 26, 2010, the day after Thanksgiving. We'll be there for about 2 weeks. We don't know for sure what the team will be doing at this point because the needs of the hospital change all the time. We may be doing painting, construction tasks, and who knows what else. There are also plans for us to do some computer work and potentially spend some time training hospital staff in using the computers and software.

Now begins the process of raising funds for the trip. Trip costs are estimated to be $3000, which is pretty close to what they were when I went in 2008. I'm once again relying on God to provide the funds necessary to go. Sarah and I have committed $1000 of the expenses, leaving me $2000 to raise. I'm getting ready to send out support letters to many of my family and friends. If you'd like to give, let me know and I'll be sure to get you information!

I also am asking for your prayers as we prepare for the trip. First of all, I ask that you would pray for our team. Right now, there are 4 of us planning to go. We could take an additional 2 people if God calls them. Pray for God to speak to all of those He would like to be on this team! In addition to this, one of our current members has concerns about asthma with all of the dust in Mali. Pray that God will provide a way for this person to go and not be concerned about health problems. Also, please pray for the strength of our team as we prepare together and learn more about each other.

I'm excited to begin sharing about things leading up to, during, and returning from the trip! Through all of this, to God be all praise!!!

The Hospital for Women and Children complex in Koutiala, Mali, West Africa.