Excited because I can't WAIT to see those children and be able to share God's love in a brand new way. Excited because this gal right here hasn't ever left the United States before, and I will be something of a world-traveler by the time this trip is over. Nervous because I'll be living in a whole new way for a couple of weeks. Terrified because of the flying. There will be a lot of flying. Please pray for me!
For anyone who is curious, my trip has now been totally funded! We still have a few ladies who are in need of funds for their trip, so if you read this and want to help bless children halfway across the world, just let me know and I can tell you how to donate.
We recently had a gigantic Stuff Sale and raised over $3,000! We will use these funds to purchase 3 new treadle sewing machines for the Namumu Orphanage. Namumu is for older children, and one of the main goals is to teach them life skills they can use to earn a living once they leave the orphanage. I will tell you that I know absolutely NOTHING about sewing, but I found out that these are the old-timey sewing machines. The picture is below. I can honestly say that I will be ZERO help in this department :)
Also with proceeds from the Stuff Sale, everyone's visas are covered. Yay! We each need a Visa to get into Zambia and Zimbabwe, but thankfully Botswana doesn't charge. They just need to stamp the passport. We are using the remainder of the funds to pay for all of our meals that are not covered by the trip cost. That means that once everyone's trip is fully funded, there will be no need for extra cash to survive on the trip. Yay! (The only extra money anyone would need is spending money, and that's optional.)
As a reminder, we are having our Zumbathon for Zambia on Saturday, April 20th. I believe the time for this is 1-3. We are also having a huge raffle then! Click here to read that post for more details.
Now to the fun part - the trip itinerary! I'm so excited!
Thursday & Friday
Flying, and lots of it. First, a 9+ hour flight to London, then about a nine hour layover. Then another approximate nine hour flight into Lusaka. Gee whiz! I'm gonna go crazy, I think! At least these flights are overnight and I'll be able to sleep. On the way back, they are all daytime flights.
Arrive in Africa! We get to visit a little at the orphanage, then go to the big once-a-month market, and after that, come back and cuddle with some sweet babies! We will be at the House of Moses which is the orphanage for babies from birth to about age 2. There are many, many babies in this orphanage with just two caretakers at a time. The children are taken care of very well, but they do crave more attention just for snuggling or play. Our dear church friend Ms. Jean tells me that when we arrive, we will have one baby hung in a sling on our backs and another baby on our chests. She says that after a few moments, their hearts will begin to beat in time to ours. Tears!!
We get to worship at the Presbyterian Church in Lusaka! What a worship experience that will be! That afternoon, we will visit the House of Martha which is for preschool-aged children. We will play games, do some teaching, and do VBS with them.
Monday & Tuesday
We will be working in the preschool at House of Martha called the Learning Center of Joy. We will continue to play games, teach, and lead VBS.
Wednesday through Saturday
On Wednesday, we'll travel by small plane (heaven help me) to Siavonga, home to the Namumu Orphanage. Some of the ladies will instruct the girls on how to use the new sewing machines, and me, well, I'll be there to teach them anything else and show them God's precious love.
Sunday through Tuesday
Because there are so many "newbies" on this trip (me, Ani, Rachel, and sorta-Sharon - she's been to Africa, but not necessarily to all of these same places), we have a few days at the end for pure travel. This is so exciting to me since I've never left the States before. I can't wait to witness some of God's amazing creation! We'll visit Victoria Falls (on the Zimbabwe side), tour the Zambezi River, visit the Chobe National Park in Botswana for Safari, and then come back to Lusaka.
We'll fly back to Lusaka and prepare to come back to the States! Yay! Family again!
Thursday & Friday
Another 9 hour flight back to Heathrow. We'll stay Thursday night in London, and get up early Friday morning for some sight-seeing before our 9+ hour flight back to the US. On Friday night around 7 pm, we'll be back in Atlanta!
I can't believe it's so close! Having this itinerary makes it even more real! I can't wait to see those children. We are preparing some special things to take with us to bless them. I know that looking in their precious eyes will show me a new dimension to God's love and providence that I've never witnessed before. I hope I can change a life while I'm there, but beyond everything else, I know that God will use this experience to change me for the better. Hallelujah!