Thursday, April 4, 2013

Zambia Details!

Woohoo! It's almost here! We depart in 1 month and 19 days! I'm a crazy mixture of excited and nervous with a side of terrified :)

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! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Zumbathon and Raffle!

Hello dear friends!

I haven't posted in a while about our trip to Zambia - we've been so hectic here around my house. But there's some exciting news to share, so I thought it would be the right time fora new post!

The Sisters of Zambia are holding a Zumbathon (Zumba for Zambia, as I like to call it!) at First Presbyterian Church in Gainesville, Georgia, on Saturday, April 20th, from 1-3 pm. Our FABULOUS Zumba teacher, Vicki, is letting us keep 75% of the money made that day to go to our fundraising efforts! Thanks, Vicki, and praise be to God for that blessing! The cost is just $5, so if you're in the area that day, stop by and shake it for both hours, 1 hour, or any time you can stop by!

I'm also very excited to announce that we'll have a raffle set up that day as well! I have many AMAZING friends who have agreed to donate some wonderful items for this raffle. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit our travel costs. (Which are quite large, I assure you!)

In no particular order, here are some of the items that will be raffled off that day:

Loco's Grill & Pub gift cards (thanks to my brother-in-law, Wes!)

Folk art painting (thanks Kelly!)

A 31 bag (thanks Baya!)

Custom Georgia Bulldogs door wreath (thanks Katrena @ Trena's Wreath Wonders!)

Handmade beeswax soaps (thanks Heather!)

Custom-designed little girl's outfit (thanks Amanda M @ Ladybug Lounge!)

Mary Kay gift basket (thanks to Amanda F!)

2 tickets to "Leading Ladies" show (thanks Dianne @ Georgia Mountain Players!)

Origami Owl locket necklace (thanks Nikki!)

Photography minisession (thanks Storie @ Storie Book Pictures!)

CDs from local gospel musician, JJ Evans

Premier Designs Jewelry (thanks D. Amanda M!)

Spring Necklace from Stella & Dot (thanks Meredith!)

Pampered Chef gift basket (thanks Sharon - a fellow SOZ!)

I have a lot of other requests out there, so I'm hoping to add to this FANTASTIC list of raffle prizes! God is so good. Thanks to everyone who has agreed to donate.

I pray that this raffle is successful so that we can earn the money we need to go forth and be blessings unto others!

In Christ,

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It Came! It Came!

I got home today from a long, hot day on the square at two different arts festivals to find THIS in my mailbox!

How exciting! It seems like we JUST sent the paperwork off yesterday! 

Being a nerdy social studies teacher, I L-O-V-E the fact that there are all sorts of patriotic quotes on the inside by famous Americans. I'm getting all geeked out over my passport!

I'm also pumped about the fact that my Yankee Candle fundraising catalogs are here. I've got 5 pages of order forms, people, so get out your checkbooks ;) 

What's great about this fundraiser is that for every item I sell, I get to keep 40% to go to my Zambia fund. So that means for every jar candle that someone purchases for $25, I get to deposit $10 in my account at the church! So, I just need to sell about 300 candles ;) Just kidding! But every candle sold puts me a little closer to spreading the love of my Savior and acting as His hands and feet. 

If you want to browse my brochure and you're local, just let me know. If you don't want to buy a candle, but you want to support this trip, I'll be more than happy to zip over the tax deductible form for you to send in a donation to the church. I'm relying on God to help me provide for this trip, so if you are reading this and feel like you want to help out financially, get in touch with me and I'll be happy to give you details for donating.

For EVERYONE reading this blog, those who can afford to donate and those who cannot, I am also requesting your prayers. Now that the passport is here, this trip is feeling even more real to me! I truly covet your prayers for my preparations, my travel, and my teaching while I am with the children of Zambia.

Thanks for keeping up with the journey so far! I can't wait to fill you in as we get even closer! May 2013 - that's just 8 months away!!!

Love in Christ,

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Zambia Updates, and a Bush Barbecue!

I'm excited to be able to fill you in on some fun for our trip to Zambia! Here's what you've missed since my last post:

#1 - My passport paperwork has been processed! (Say that 10 times fast!) Woohoo! Thanks to special friends Mike and Dianne. I love you both, and I truly appreciate that gift!

#2 - Our church session has approved two fundraisers for the VERY near future! I've been waiting to fill you in, and now that we have approval, I've got some fun details for you!

First, we will be having a Yankee Candle fundraiser from September 21st through October 10th. This is right at the end of the month, so hopefully you'll be able to buy a candle (or two or three!) from us at this time. We'll have brochures to hand out soon, but if you want to start a "wish list," I certainly won't stop you! These will be here before Thanksgiving, so it's a great time to order some fabulous fall scents for your holiday get-together. It's also the perfect time of year to order Christmas gifts. Please consider placing an order with us when our brochures are available!


Have you been thinking about this trip to Zambia and wished you could be a part of the mission? Well, you don't have to travel to Africa to experience the call of the wild!

The Sisters of Zambia are hosting an African Bush Barbecue, located in the safety of South Enota Drive! 

First Presbyterian Church
800 S. Enota Drive

Friday, October 5th
5 pm - 7 pm

Here's our menu:

BBQ Pork
Curry Chicken
Vegetable Beef Stew
Macaroni & Cheese
Couscous Salad
Baked Beans
Hot Dogs

Tea / Lemonade / Water

We will also have assorted desserts and wild animal cookies for the kids! Children will be able to decorate their own cookies in the shape of elephants, monkeys, and other safari animals.

Of course, in order for this to be a traditional bush barbecue, we have to have a huge bonfire! We are also pleased to announce that there will be live music for your enjoyment as well, so bring your favorite outdoor chair and prepare for a fabulous evening out!

Tickets for adults: $20 each
Tickets for kids: $5 each (for families with lots of children, all of your children can eat for $10 total)

Order your tickets from any Sister of Zambia today!
It'll be great fun, and we ain't "lion!"

Love in Christ,

Sunday, July 15, 2012


I don't know about you, but I LOVE it when God speaks to me through a sermon! This morning, Pastor Dan was preaching on peace. He reminded us that the apostle Paul tells us not to "worry about nothing; instead pray about everything." (Philippians 4:6)

Well, I've been a little worried about being able to afford this trip. Pastor Dan also told us this morning that only 8% of our worries are actually something to worry about; 92% of them are out of our control or are too unlikely to occur. I felt like God was speaking to me this morning! There's no need to worry about anything on this trip! However, I should be praying about it for sure.

And I have been praying, and I will continue to do so! Will you join me in praying for the Sisters of Zambia? Our names are all posted in the right column of the blog.

I know God hears our prayers, and I'm certain He's heard mine about my Zambia trip. I've gotten another two appointments to raise money for the trip, and a lovely, wonderful, dear friend of ours has offered to pay for my passport! Praise be to God!

It's hard to have peace if we're worried. If there's something going on in your life that has you worried, remember the words of the apostle Paul. I know that's advice I surely need to take, too! Pray for me, and I'll be praying for everyone who reads this blog as well.

Peace be with you!

P.S. I've changed my computer background because I'm so excited about Zambia. Can you tell? :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Raising Funds

Hello everyone,

Now that I have the trip itinerary, it's time to start preparing for my journey. I've got a little over 10 months to get ready. I've got to visit the travel clinic for preventive treatment for malaria, yellow fever, hepatitis, and a new tetanus shot; I've got to get a passport and prepare to get my visa; and perhaps most dreaded of all, I've got to ask for donations.

I do NOT like fundraising. Asking people for money makes me so uncomfortable. However, I know that there's no way I can afford a trip like this on my own. I simply have to make money. If, at the end of my preparations, I am still short, I can ask for some money from our church's endowment fund. I'd like to be able to raise all of it myself, but $4,000 sounds like a huge amount.

So even though it makes me uncomfortable, I've just got to do it. I've got a great friend who's been on mission trips to foreign countries and has had to raise money, so she's been helping me think through creating a donation letter. Another SOZ-in-Training has sent me the letter she uses to allow donors to receive a tax credit on their donations. I'm prepared to start sending out letters and praying that people feel led to help me on this mission.

Like I said, I really didn't like the idea of asking for money. I'm a Google kind of gal, meaning that when I have any kind of problem, I start googling for solutions. I found a great website that talks a lot about out of country missions, and one blogger said something to this effect: If God has called me on this mission, would He really call me and then not provide the funding?

This may sound trivial, but this part of the journey is requiring me to get out of my comfort zone and put my trust in God. I've prayed over the letter I wrote, and I've prayed over ways to raise funds. I'm not a crafter, I'm not a baker, and I'm not a handy kind of lady. I do love technology, though, and have had a few friends offer in the past to pay me to help them get some new technology set up in their classrooms. As I was thinking (and worrying) about fundraising, the idea came to me to offer these services and donate all the money I earn to my mission fund! So I took a chance, made a flyer, and put myself out there to see if anything would come of it. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have any doubts about it, but I prayed that God would use this as an opportunity to get me started on my way.

I will tell you with certainty - God works! I put the flyer up yesterday, and I've already had two "appointments" and raised over $100 for the trip - just within two days! That just amazes me! I have another appointment scheduled, and I pray that God will continue to bless this endeavor.

I've also had a few friends who said that they'd donate to my mission fund. I'm looking forward to sending out my letters this weekend, and I thank God for friends who want to see this mission succeed.

Of course, I'd love to raise more than the $4,000 in expenses and leave behind a donation at one (or more) of the homes in Zambia. I'm confident that God will provide for this mission!

I also know that not everyone can donate funds, so I will also continue to ask people to pray for me, the other Sisters, and the people in Zambia that we seek to serve. I hope that if you are reading this blog, you will add this mission to your prayer list.

Thank you for reading!

Blessings in Christ,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Trip Itinerary

Hello, dear readers and prayer partners!

Now that I'm an official SOZ-in-Training, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about the trip we'll be taking next summer.

My last day of postplanning for the upcoming school year is May 20th. The other five Sisters and I will fly out on May 23rd and arrive on May 24th. The flight is, I think, 16 hours. We will have a 3-hour layover in Heathrow, then fly directly to Lusaka. Saturday, the 25th, is the big open air market. I'm looking forward to exploring all the treasures I can pick up there!

While in Lusaka, we will be teaching and playing with the children at the House of Moses, Learning Center of Joy, and House of Martha. We will spend several days there. Then, we will travel about 3.5 hours away to Siavonga and spend a few days teaching the children living at the Namumu Orphanage. Just to give you an idea of the children we'll serve: the children at the House of Moses are infants to toddlerhood, children living at House of Martha are 4 years-12 years in age, and Namumu Orphanage is for children who are of school age, including middle and high school students.

Circled in red are Lusaka (top) and Siavonga (bottom)

We'll spend the last part of our trip on a traditional African safari. So exciting!

We will fly back home on June 6th (early that morning) and we'll have another layover in London, this time for 21 hours. I'll get to explore a city I've always wanted to visit, if only for a little bit! We will arrive back home late on June 7th.

I am looking forward to blessing these children by teaching them and showing them the love of my Savior. I am looking forward to being blessed by the love I'm sure I'll feel coming from those children. I'm looking forward to the growing I'm sure God has in store for me. Like I said before, I've never left the US before, so this is a BIG trip for me! However, I can't deny God's call for me, no matter how nervous I am or how foreign all of this will be.

I'm terrified of flying - so please keep my flights in your prayers! I also ask that you pray for the children living in these homes in Zambia. The Namumu Orphanage has a theme verse from the Bible, and I'll end the post by sharing it here:

James 1:27a Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress...

Blessings in Christ,

Click the links to read more about House of Martha and Namumu Orphanage.