Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Eleventh Hour.

24 hours until my plane takes off for Kenya, Africa.  I don't know what to think.  I don't even know if I can think right now.  I am really, truly going to Africa!  Me.  Africa.  Tomorrow.  Eeee!

I wonder when it will ever sink in.

One year and nine days ago, someone asked me, "Have you ever thought about going to Africa?"  And it completely caught me off guard.  I gulped and said, "Um, no....not really?" Her immediate response was, "Well, you should think about it!  I know about this orphanage that...."

The seed was planted. 

I spent a great deal of 2009 thinking about going to Africa.  I spent the last two months planning for it.  And tomorrow, by God's grace, I'm flying halfway around the world to live at the orphanage there in Kinangop.  I don't know what the Lord is going to do through me there, but I am excited for whatever it is.  He is a big God -- bigger than I know, and His imagination is infinitely greater than mine.

Right now, I feel a little like Sam must have felt in The Fellowship of the Ring, as he paused on the very edge of the Shire to look out at the great unknown sprawling before him.  When Frodo asked him why he hesitated, he said, "If I take one more step, it'll be the farthest away from home I've ever been."

I think I understand, now, what he meant.  This will be the farthest away from home I've ever been too.  And this one small step is, maybe, the biggest one I'll ever take.

Am I scared?  A little.  Do I feel adequately prepared to face everything that might lie in the days ahead?  No.  But, like the very last verse of Psalm 108 says, "Through our God we shall do valiantly!"  It's not going to be me working on my own strength.  It's going to be Him, working through me.  I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

He is so faithful.

And I'm really going to Africa.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I Fit Inside My Suitcase.

I'm leaving for Kenya in just 12 days!  I can't believe it!  My plane flies out exactly one year and ten days (almost to the minute!) after I first heard about the opportunity.  How's that for a fabulous, God-ordained coincidence??

I have all of my luggage now.  Besides my carry-on allowances, I am now the proud owner of a big, red Samsonite suitcase and two MASSIVE black duffel bags. I can comfortably curl up inside any of them -- that's how big they are!  (Or....how small I am.  I don't know.)

Buying them was fairly painless.  (Key word being "fairly".)  But packing?  Not so much.  I'm going to be relying heavily on the bathroom scale when it comes to making sure I don't exceed the airline's weight restrictions.  It's going to be hard.  At this point, my packing list alone could probably fill the first suitcase!

For real, when I first saw the weight restrictions, I wished for an Undetectable Extension charm on all three suitcases, but then realized the weight would stay the same....  (Or wouldn't it?  Muggle, muggle head.)

But all magic aside, I think I came up with a reasonable method for weighing my bags beforehand:

1. Weigh self on bathroom scale.
2. Take note of weight.
3. Weigh self on bathroom scale again -- with suitcase/duffel in hand.
4. Subtract current reading from previous reading.
5. Unload suitcase and repack, leaving "most expendable" items aside.
6. Repeat.

Oh and P.S. The words "most expendable" being written in conjunction with my stuff....give me a great big knot in my stomach.  Just so you know.  (Note to self: work on this.)

But hey.  I'm going to Kenya!!  In two weeks!!  Sheesh, I'd probably travel in a suitcase if I had to!

(Oh, but wait.  I would exceed the weight limit.  Bleh.)