With only one month and 4 days left (not that I'm counting or anything) before I embark on my first medical mission trip, I am starting to feel like a little kid on Christmas eve. Do you remember that feeling? The "how can I sleep when I know the minute I close my eyes Santa is surely going to drop off the Snoopy Snowcone Maker that I've been dreaming about" feeling? The night before Christmas was such a whirlwind of excitement and the fact that I am feeling this way already with a whole month to go is about to drive me crazy!
I think a lot of the hype in my mind is not just about Nicaragua or the fact that I will be in Central America for 11 days, but more so about the fact that something I have been dreaming about for 3 years is about to happen. For three long years I have felt something stir in my heart. This girl who never had any desire to leave the country while growing up was starting to feel drawn towards international mission work. I tried to tuck the urge back inside like I do when I get the urge to go running or to the gym, but this has not been as easy to supress. The more I talked myself out of it or found logical reasons to wait, the more it came back stronger. Finally in February of this year, I gave in and filled out the application.
As I prepare for Nicaragua, I am confident this trip will be a life changing event and you know what, I am praying it is! I want to be changed. I want to get there and be completely thrown out of my comfort zone so that I can feel how many of the people in this world feel every single day. I want to have to rely fully on others to tell me when and what I can eat, where I have to sleep, have them limit my time in the shower with clean water, tell me what I cannot wear, etc... I believe without being thrust from my happy, clean American bubble, I will not be nearly as effective on the future trips I take. I want to put myself in the shoes of the people we're serving so that I can become empathetic to their lives and not just limited to sympathy. I want to be used and I want to serve and love on these people so much over those 11 days that I have nothing left when I get back on the plane to states.
I am sure I will use this blog more and more to chat about my trip, especially as I get closer to the day we leave, but for now I guess my main message is that I am so grateful for this opportunity. I am grateful for the team of 18 new friends that the Lord has handpicked as teammates. I am grateful for my friends and family who are helping me pay for this trip and making this dream a reality. And last but not least, I am grateful that my urge was strong enough to fight logistics and laziness. I cannot wait to serve the Nica people and to be 100% uncomfortable for their sake.
Here am I. Send Me.