A tweet started it all. The notification popped up on my phone and when I clicked over, I read the words three times before they sunk in. My heart hammered out of my chest.
Was this for real?
Earlier that day, I'd read Idelette McVicker's post for SheLoves Magazine. She was discussing her then upcoming trip to Moldova and a few sections grabbed me.
I had a glimpse that even though our God would love for more daughters to experience the joy of these thin places–where Heaven and Earth meet in the going and the trying—too few still are willing. For too many of us, the book is closed and packed away before it’s even opened. We won’t even consider the thought.
- The precious idea tucked away deep into your heart.
- The hope that feels more like wishful thinking.
- The possibility in the distance that makes your heart beat faster.
No room? No eyes to see possibility? No asking or seeking? Then, sadly, also no heart-thumping, bridge-jumping, earth-roaring miraculous finding...Let us be women with a yes on our hearts and a willingness to camp for a while where the seemingly impossible meets our ready feet.
What dreams did I have that I didn't realize? What possibilities awaited? I've had such a good feeling about what this year would hold and it made me think beyond what I'd already envisioned. I couldn't shake those words so I tweeted Idelette. And then Kelley responded and I couldn't believe my eyes.
The invitation was real. Kelley followed up by email and I grew teary-eyed as I read. Not a normal response when I'm reading emails.
I needed to pray and there were logistics to work out but I'd already said yes in my heart.
Even though the family I work for had every right to tell me I couldn't have the time off, they are fully on board. I need only tell them the dates I'll be gone and they'll figure out the rest.
So here I sit, telling you I'm Africa-bound. I can scarcely believe it. Kelley and Idelette are putting together a team to go to Uganda and Burundi and I am on that team.
Come May 27, I'll be in Kampala, Uganda attending the Amahoro Africa Gathering. Kelley and her husband Claude started Amahoro Africa to provide a "place of mutual learning for African and non-African leaders involved in innovative ministries that build disciple-making communities with an emphasis on justice and mercy."
Does that not make your heart swell?
In the afternoons, we'll meet with African women to share stories and dream and study together. Then once Amahoro is over, we'll fly to Burundi for a few days. SheLoves Magazine is raising money to build a well in Bubanza (it's funded as of last night!!) and we will be there for the dedication.
Surely your heart is about to leap out of its chest? If not, read about the SheLoves trip to Bubanza last year to give out identity cards. Amazing.
Second, you are all such a big part of why this opportunity has fallen into my lap. I often brag about the community here. You are such rich encouragers and faithful readers. This support compels me to keep writing and to keep connecting with others. I never could have guessed at all that blogging would bring to my life and the relationships that have emerged are absolutely the best part.
Third, I'm responsible for paying for the trip. I would love it if you could be part of this process. I'm hoping for a nice fat tax return to help with plane tickets. The conference itself is $600, which includes meals and lodging. Might you consider helping me? Donating toward my conference costs is tax-deductible. And if you have any tips and tricks for cheap-ish plane tickets to Uganda, let me know!
Any questions about the trip? Let's have some fun with predictions. What else is in store for me this year?