In about 40 hours the GO Bolivia 2012 team will be on its way to South America...FORTY HOURS!!! It's hard to believe that we are SO CLOSE. For those who do not know, I will be traveling 24 hours behind the rest of the team, as I will be at close friends' wedding in Tennessee on Saturday and will be leaving Sunday instead. Since the first day I realized this would be the case -- that the rest of the team will have been there a full day before me -- the thought of my moment of arrival in Bolivia has excited me like few things have in my life.
I will be traveling internationally for the first time in my life and taking my first non-direct flight of my life. I can be honest in saying the "fear of the unknown" concerning flying abroad alone has certainly been present over the last couple months especially, but God has given me much more of a sense of peace concerning it recently. Early on, the thought of arriving in Bolivia and seeing all of my friends (see Carolyn's post from Wednesday, 5/16) in Bolivia brought excitement because I knew once I saw them I was "home free." More recently, however, I've been realizing what that moment will really mean for me. This will be the FIRST TIME I step foot in a foreign country (okay, I've been to Canada for half a day, but would anyone REALLY count that?). This will be my introduction into global mission field work, something which has been only a passionate idea until this point. This will be the first time I'm completely immersed in a different culture, something which will overwhelm what I think I know about this place we call Earth.
At a smaller scale, this will mean my introduction into the GO Bolivia 2012 team's work. The team will have already been hard at work in Santa Cruz for 24 hours. They will have had some amazing experiences, and I know God will have already worked mightily in their hearts and in the hearts of those they are serving. I fully expect that I will be greeted with some awesome hugs and gleaming smiles on mouths anxious to share with me all of what's been going on in their lives already and yet also potentially left nearly speechless by the beauty of it all. For those of you, who like me, have never participated in a global mission trip, I am excited to join you in Christ's call to GO. For those of you who have been on a mission trip before, I am excited to see what new things God places on your hearts for others and for the nations. For us all, I am SO EXCITED to be a small unit of the Body of Christ united in intentional servanthood while in Bolivia. I am SO EXCITED to see God impact you as you impact others and make Christ's Name known. I am SO EXCITED to share in the experiences with you and to be a small part of what God is doing in Bolivia. And knowing that Christ is the head of our trip, I know that we will be led in paths of righteousness for His Name's sake.
For those of you who are not going to Bolivia but who are keeping updated on our posts and in prayer for the team, I am SO EXCITED to have you as part of what God is doing as well, and we truly desire your intentional prayer on our behalf. Lack of prayer, I am convinced, is a plague in the Church, and I know that with God all things are possible. So please pray big prayers to our INFINITE GOD that His will would be done for His glory in the intracacies of our trip. We are SO EXCITED to be going and that we will be able to share with you about our trip while there and following the trip. The Great Commission can only be fulfilled when a mix of "senders" and "goers" are present and united. So just as we 12 individuals from Charlotte, NC traveling to Bolivia desire unity and love to characterize our relationships, we desire the same to be true beyond the 12 as well. We love because He first loved, and oh how great a love He has poured out upon us...TO HIM BE THE GLORY!
With a grateful heart in Christ,