Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ethiopia.


I should be editing right now, but I wanted to take a minute to share what's on my heart these days: 

Ethiopia

I leave in 2 weeks. I really can't believe that it's finally here. I've been preparing for this trip for what seems like forever. Now the time has come to pack my bags and go.

I am truly amazed how God has provided the funds for this trip. I have raised over $1000 just by selling headbands! I just want to say THANK YOU to each of you that helped me! I am blown away. All along the way, God has provided exactly what I needed! Just yesterday I got a check from someone who saw my headbands and sign about my trip in my husband's store. I don't even know them, but they gave me exactly the amount I needed for shots today. I didn't know where that money was going to come from! People I hardly know have helped me the most. I have been left speechless more times than I can count. God has used this to stretch my faith and I haven't even left yet!

For those of you who don't know, I am going to Ethiopia through an organization called International Crisis Aid. They have many projects all over the world, but in Ethiopia their main focus is rescuing girls from sex trafficking. My heart broke the first time I realized how rampant and wide-spread this horrible injustice is in Ethiopia and all over the world. The men will go into the Red Light District and invite the girls to come to a party that we will host. At the party we will have the opportunity to show the love of Christ to these girls and tell them that they can get out of this life. We'll also get to talk to the girls who have been rescued and are in safe homes. To say that I don't think I'm ready for their stories is a huge understatement. I don't even know how to prepare. There is a feeding clinic we will work in as well. In case you haven't heard, starvation is extremely widespread in this region. Drought and war have ruined their crops. How do you prepare yourself to see starving children? The reality is sinking in now. They won't be mere faces on a piece of paper that I can ignore. They will be real and right in front of my face. I will touch them. I will see their pain.

Having this knowledge before me everyday puts things in a different light. I know Africa will change me. It already has. I just came back from the grocery store with all kinds of scrumptious food. My fridge is full with milk, bagels, cream cheese, fresh fruit, veggies, leftovers and our freezer has even more food, including ice cream. I have so much.

I have much; I give little.

I could go on and on, but I'll end with asking for your prayers. I know that I am powerless without the Holy Spirit moving and working through me. I know prayer works. I have seen it time and time again. I am praying that God brings many people to Himself. He doesn't need us, but He chooses to use us. Prayer is a huge part of that. If you are interested, I am putting together a prayer list where people can sign up to pray for us for one day while we are gone. Email me if you would like to be on it. I can't tell you how much that would mean to me.


I thought this song was fitting for this post. It's about Africa.





24 comments:

larissa said...

i leave in 2 weeks from tomorrow. i still can't believe it's here, either. the faces of the starving and the homeless are everywhere. there, it's impossible to ignore. you can't just change the channel or flip the page. except, there, they're SO so happy. everyone is just perfectly happy. they might not have much, or maybe anything but they are SO happy and SO kind. Africa WILL change you. you'll never be the same, but i hope God will use that change to make this world a better place. that's my prayer, and i know he'll use you. what you're going to do is so amazing. i'll pray for safety for you, because i cannot imagine how hard the enemy will try and strike you for what you're going to do. but you're doing HIS work and HE WILL provide. peace and blessings, girl!

The Arizona Russums said...

Jen, I am sooo excited about your trip and will be showering prayers all over you as you prepare and while you are gone! One of my best friends moved to Ethiopia a year and a half ago to be an M, so it's a country that is constantly on my heart! XOXO!

mary said...

Yayyy! You are so full of heart and soul Jennifer! Simply lovely. xox!

Sierra said...

I had the incredible opportunity to live in Kenya this summer. It forced me to grow in a way that I didn't even know was possible. I miss it every single day. You will learn and see some things that you do not want to see. But it will ultimately give you a perspective that cannot be replaced. Have an incredible time. I am so jealous--I want to come with. BE SAFE.

♥ CheChe said...

you are sooo beautiful! God is so good and faithful. Provision from Him is such a big confirmation of where He is calling you. He truly makes the way known to all of us in every area of our lives if this is where He is calling us to be or go... I love that He is speaking to you and ministering to you throughout this and the trip has yet to begin.

Blessings over you, your path and your relationship with your husband. :)

♥cheche

Kaylee said...

I keep thinking of what to comment on and say, but nothing coherent is coming to mind. So just know I'll be praying for you as you get closer to going on your trip. I know that God will do and show you amazing things. Blessings.

Leslie said...

Gosh for some reason reading this post almost made me cry! I am so excited for you, especially for the transformation that is going to take place in your heart. I will be praying for you while you are gone and praying for you and your hubby when you return. It's difficult to communicate experiences like the one you are about to embark on to everyone back home. Be sure to journal A LOT. You have a lovely soul and I can't wait to hear all about it when you get back!

Faith said...

You will return set afire. You have my prayers!

Heather said...

so. excited. for. you! xo

a girl with a smile said...

Jen this is amazing! God will do many great things, you just need to follow His lead <3

Susan said...

I will definitely be praying for you! Its so amazing when you hear of stories of God providing the exact amount of funds needed by a stranger who was compelled to give that amount, not always knowing why. You have such a beautiful heart and you will be a blessing to those children while you are there!!

Mr. Taylor and his Lady said...

this is just so incredible girl! i always love hearing those amazing stories of people who receive donations in exact change at the exact time that they need it! thank you for sharing this heartfelt story, and what an amazing cause. this experience will for sure be life changing in every way possible!!
xo TJ

Lyndsey said...

oh my gosh this is amazing! I would like to do a missions trip one day but think I am too much of a wimp for this! I hope God changes your heart and your life and that he helps you change many other girls hearts as well. I wish the world was full of more people like you! I can't imagine the heart break it will be to see all of this in front of your eyes! I can not wait to hear all about it! Good luck and I hope all goes well with this!

Nat said...

Oh my goodness! I am sooo happy for you. Going to Africa to help these kids has always been my dream, and reading your blog stirs up something in my heart. I wish I could go! But I will definitely be praying for your trip and for you, and for the Holy Spirit to give you that strength to be able to be strong for those kids and women. You are amazing. I don't know you, but I'll be praying for you. I absolutely loved your blog. You go girl! HAVE AN AMAZING TRIP!!

-nataly in TX

Heather Hawthorne said...

Hi Jenn!! I'm a new follower and love your story. Where can I get a headband?! This Christmas my goal is to support someone with every gift I give... You can check out what I mean by reading this post.
http://amomwithoutfacebook.blogspot.com/2011/09/blessing-while-giving-part-1.html

I would love to help you and blog about your story!

♥, A Mom Without Facebook
www.amomwithoutfacebook.blogspot.com

Emily w/Amazing Grapes said...

I love the heart you have for them. God truly is awesome how He's provided just hat you needed to go on this trip.

I have no doubt it will be difficult being there and seeing it all first hand, but how neat to see the ones that want out and want better and even cooler, want the Lord in their lives.

Enjoy the time you have before you leave. :) Hope the shots weren't too painful.

Emily w/Amazing Grapes

yours truly said...

This post humbled me. We have so much in our lives that we see as normal and other people would think is luxurious.
Recently my Church did a overnight even regarding sex trafficking and we are raising money right now to take a trip to the Philippines. You are in my prayers while you are in Ethiopia.

Briana@SweetCGrace said...

Saw Ethiopia on thewiegands.com and had to come look - new follower. :) We are saving for an adoption from Ethiopia. Praying that soon we will be able to have our little girl join our family. :)

Kristine @ JandMs Eye Candy said...

Thank you for always sharing your heart. Prayers and love sent your way! You are doing and will continue to do amazing things. XO

Heart n Soul said...

I went on a similar adventure last December and was amazed at how it all came together ... blood, sweat and prayers :) How exciting for you ... the best is still ahead of you. God Bless.

Heart n Soul said...

Oh and I forgot to mention ... that song (Albertine) is seriously amazing. My daughter sang it at our fundraiser night (also on my blog) ... truly breathtaking.

Jamie said...

You can be sure that my prayers will be with you. Let me in on that prayer list.

Rahel Redwine said...

I'll be praying for you Jennifer. Will your husband be going with you too?

Katie Jobczynski said...

i'm so excited for you to take your trip! i am in the midst of planning a three month long trip to haiti. i can understand your worries completely.

"albertine" is the song that keeps my body going on the days that i feel completely worn down.

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