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.