As my journey of returning to Africa continues, I am full of mixed emotions. Of course I am very excited for it to almost be here! I am definitely looking forward to seeing the adorable children at Ryvanz-Mia Orphanage. I'm excited for what God is preparing for my team (BIG things). I am sad when I think about being far from family and friends, without quick and easy communication. I have no fear at all because God is with me and He is going before me. It amazes me how every time I go on a Missions trip, I always feel safe and never have any sort of fear. I walk in confidence of God's protection over me and whomever I am with at the time. It makes sense, because God is not a God of fear. I am nervous though about this big change. Nobody likes change, including me. But, I am choosing to walk into such a BIG change because I love God and He's made it very clear to me that He wants me to go to Ghana for the whole summer. :)
This entire trip has not been because of my doing at all. From the very beginning, it's been His way, not my way. I didn't want to go back to Africa when I came back last September. Little did I know I'd be returning 9 months later to a whole new part of Africa...all because of His will, not mine. He put a passion in my heart to go back to Africa starting in December and in January, He gave me $77.00 more than the deposit amount for the trip. He has been faithfully providing financially and spiritually every step of the way on this trip. He has guided me from church to church and encouraged me day after day through worship, prophetic words, His voice, and His word, all that directly relate to this journey. He's told me He'll provide everything I need to go to Ghana and everything I need to stay there for two months. He's told me He'll provide more than I can imagine. He's blowing me away daily as I take this step of faith.
Every time I pray for my team, I hear the word STRONG. We all hear God's voice very clearly and are sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading. We all recognize our authority in Christ over the enemy. We all know that Greater is He that is in Me than he that is in the world. This scripture comes to mind when I think about my team "Most assuredly, I say to he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; the greater works than these he will do because I go to the Father." John 14:12 Jesus said to His disciples, right before he ascended into Heaven: "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. All these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues, they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poision, it all not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." Mark 16: 15-18 Obviously, we will not literally be drinking deadly poison or picking up snakes, but you get the idea. God has given us the power to heal the sick, drive out demons, and bring the Good News of the gospel to the Africans. The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us, so we have the ability to do these same things by activating our faith. We are God's disciples, follower's of Christ.
My team consists of 10 people, 5 of which have been to Africa before. Many people on my my team work with children and love kids. Gayelee, our team leader, is the Pastor of the organization, Cross Connection outreach. Her daughter, Morgan, just graduated from High School and has a beautiful voice. Jay and Denise are the only married couple on our team, and will be celebrating their anniversary for 33 years of marriage on our trip. Nathan is a big hearted man who is in his 50's and he went on the same team as I did last year to Mozambique. He is always taking care of me and making sure I'm doing ok. (ok, maybe not just me...but the whole team) Kristal is a single mom who loves the Lord and plays the guitar and sings. She and Morgan will be our worship team. Brianna, my close friend, is a student at SDSU, loves kids, and is passionate about bringing the Talking Bibles to Ghanaians. Barbara is a 69 year old woman who attends theMovement church (she decided to go after Danielle and I gave our speal at the Woman's dinner!!) and she has never been on a Missions trip. Kristina is a Kindergarten teacher in Carlsbad and going to Bethel, School of the Supernatural in the fall. And, last but not least, myself, and you should all know me, but I'll categorize myself as a young woman pursuing God who will soon be a California Credentialed Teacher.
Recently, we found out that our team has been asked to go into a Leper colony in Ghana to bring hope with the Talking Bibles to the people who have Leprosy. We are SO excited! Nobody will get sickness, and we probably won't even touch the people. I believe we will see people healed from their Leprosy without even touching them, because the POWER of God is so strong through our team. What a lovely thing to show these isolated people that Jesus Loves them and we are there to show them we care about them because God cares about them, too. We also get the privelage to go into hospitals and pray for people. I believe we will see sick people get well, too. Many people, not just few, because God is powerful and wants everyone to be healed of any sickness or disease. And, of course our main focus will be getting the Talking Bibles into the hands of those who need to hear the word of God. We also get to do Vacation Bible School (VBS) with the kids at the Orphanage and maybe do some teachingswhen we go into different villages to distribute Talking Bibles. My team is going to be the FIRST team to go to Ghana and bring Talking Bibles through Cross Connection Outreach, so everything is new and tentative as far as our plans go for the trip. The team leader and her daughter are going one week early to meet with Becka, the young woman who they met at a conference and has been to Ghana twice. The language in Ghana that is recorded on the Talking Bible is EWE, pronounced "Airway", I think. This is just one dialect in Ghana, for the region of Kpando, where we will be staying during our trip.
Many of you may be wondering as time is winding down, what else do I need? Well, it's funny because as I am preparing to go to a third world country with many poor people, I begin to find that there is not too much I "need". Most "needs" become "wants". As of now, I still need $646.00 to cover the cost for the rest of my two week stay with the team in Kpando. And I still need $1,000.00 for my two months after that while I stay with Becka and travel to Accra, Prampram, and Kpando in Ghana. If God puts it on your heart to give to either of those needs, just let me know. I'm honestly not worried about finances because of all that God has told me and provided so far! :) Aside from finances, I do need a few things that I haven't purchased yet because I'm waiting for my trip to get paid for first. If you'd like to buy any of the following for me, let me know so I don't get it. :)
-Mosquito Net ($15.00)
-Inside Liner for sleeping bag to act as a blanket, not knowing whether sheets will be clean and so forth ($10.00)
-Travel Size Pillow
-Pepper spray (just in case!)
-Adapter to charge my phone and camera (220 volts)
-Large bag of Jolly Ranchers (the kids LOVE these!)
-Large luggage (someone is lending me some, I just haven't picked it up yet)
-Small pencil sharpeners and any other school supplies for the kids at the Orphanage
-Feminine Urinary Director, aka "pee funnel" ($25.00) yes, it is a need so I can pee in the bush standing up because I did not do so well with squatting last year :)
Somehow I have managed to lose my ipod, and all of my itunes actually deleted somehow. It's frustrating, but life goes on. What can you do? I may try to go to the apple store and see if they can recover my itunes music somehow. That is one thing I was bummed about though because the kids in Africa appear to LOVE music and dancing (if you've seen the video, you know what I mean) and I was hoping to bring an ipod with a mini speaker thing so that the kids and I can have dance parties. I'm praying and believing that my itunes music will get restored, my ipod will miraculously show up or someone will give me one, or I'll have the funds to buy one, and the ipod speakers will also be a gift from someone or God will give me the money for it. I know I can survive without all the above, but worship music on the 11 hour plane ride would be lovely as well as all that I said above. God will work it all out though, because He works all things together for our good according to Romans 8:28.