Hello dear friends ♥
Finally, I get round to a very delayed March newsletter!
Well, I am officially in South Africa and after a whirlwind first few weeks of travelling and visiting and speaking, I am finally settled at my parent’s home where I will be spending the next month as I finish up fundraising and prepare physically, mentally and spiritually for the journey ahead.
Even though I am not yet fully funded, I have taken a step of faith and booked my ticket to Ethiopia! I will be flying out on the 21st of April and really want to give the Father all the praise in providing the funds to be able to do so. I was worried at a stage that it would end up as a last-minute booking as I waited for the funds to come through but I am so grateful to now know the date and what I am working towards. Let the countdown begin!!
First things first – some of you may remember that last month an article I wrote for Velvet Ashes was published. For those of you who would like to read it, here it is:
I have received such an amazing response. Many people have reached out to me who are either currently serving in Ethiopia or have served there in the past and it was so lovely to read of their experiences and be encouraged by what they had to say. I am so excited to have a few connections that side already.
As mentioned in my previous newsletter, I was asked to share my testimony at The Heroine Collection 2017 which was held at the Boomhuis Art Gallery in Stellenbosch on the 11th of March. Truthfully, I nearly didn’t get up there on Saturday. It was my first time sharing my testimony and my first time speaking publicly; and as the day drew closer and I still felt unsure of what I would say – I just didn’t know if I had it in me.
Besides a scripture the Father had given me, that day I showed up with no idea of what I was going to say and with no notes to fall back on. I am not really able to express what happened that day, but I know God completely took over. Standing up in front of ±70 people felt so natural and the space created was so open and safe that I got to share straight from my heart. I was so incredibly blessed to be apart of that day. I want to say a special thank you to my friends who came to support me. Even though I struggled to look at them once I got up there, their presence was such a comfort to me and I really needed them there.
Overall, the day was so beautiful. The stories shared were amazing; the photos on display at the gallery were so empowering and inspiring and so many people received prayer and a word from the Father. It was a day completely ordained by Him. The exhibition is still up until the end of the month. If you are in the area, I really encourage you to go and visit the gallery. The photos of these women and their stories are phenomenal and I know so many will be blessed by them.
I have found out a bit more information about what I will be directly involved in once in Ethiopia and so I thought I would share it with you. They have asked me to redo all the children’s portfolios and take updated photographs. Majority of the children are sponsored by people worldwide but due to the lack of resources, photos their sponsors receive are outdated. This is a big project as there are about 500 children who need individual photos taken but thanks to my sister loaning her camera to the project, I am excited to capture their little faces.
Another project that is close to my heart is the menstruation classes given to the girls of Blessing the Children. In all African countries, including South Africa, menstruation is perceived as a ‘taboo’ scary thing and because of this and due to the lack of sanitary products and education on the matter, a vast majority of young girls miss school; and when this happens for a week each month this all adds up to a significant amount of time where girls aren’t going to school or are ashamed of what is happening to their bodies. My heart is to be able to share that getting your period is OK and not something to be feared. This may sound so odd to people who grew up knowing this, like myself, but in certain areas this just isn’t so and it can become seriously debilitating for these girls.
Sanitary pads is something they will always need and so I reached out to a couple of friends to ask for help. Due to baggage restrictions, I decided not to reach out to a lot of people as I knew I was limited in how much I would be able to take. I also only had a limited time to collect as I was in Cape Town for a few days but between my 2 friends they were able to get R2000 worth of pads donated and I am so grateful for all their help. They really just took the idea and ran with it and honestly I had very little to do with it, so thank you to them and everyone who donated!
I will share more information about the projects I’ll be involved in in next month’s newsletter. Which brings me to the last topic of conversation – Fundraising.
In all honesty, it has been my least favourite thing to do on this journey, but I do know that it is part and parcel with mission work. To be honest, though, it has stretched me in many areas of my life – areas where I have proven to be the most stubborn and resistant to change (not the best attributes of an aspiring missionary), but I know that slowly I am growing in this. Very slowly. Snail pace slow. But growing nonetheless.
I am currently in my third and final phase of fundraising.
THANK YOU, FATHER!
I am not sure if when the 28th of March rolls around and my final target is met if I will jump for joy or crawl into a ball and weep – I’ll have to keep you posted on that one 😉
This month, as is with the last two, I have to raise $870. The total amount needed for the trip is $2610, currently we have raised $1968-57 which means that by the 28th of March, I still need $641-43. With 9 days to go, it feels like a big amount but I also know the Father hasn’t brought me this far to leave me here and so all I can do is trust.
If you are lead to, I ask that you please consider donating.
$10 goes a long way and I appreciate every cent that comes in.
To donate: South African account
Finally, I would like to thank each and every one of you. Those who have donated; those who have sent encouraging words; those in Cape Town who put me up so that I would have a place to sleep; those who drove me around; those who gave of their time and came to visit me. Each and everyone of you has blessed me and I pray God’s richest blessing over you.