Thursday, July 1, 2010

Jamaica bound...

posted by Ashley

Happy Thursday, friends!

I am definitely looking forward to a long holiday weekend! I wanted to share a little today about an upcoming missions trip I will be going on along with my husband and our college group at church. The whole idea about going on a missions trip started when Nate and I attended NYWC (National Youth Workers Convention) in Los Angeles last fall. During our down time, we were perusing the youth workshops and were approached by a young man from Praying Pelican Missions who asked us, “When was the last time your church went on a missions trip?” Nate and I looked at each other and both realized that our church has never done a missions trip, especially not an international one. It was at that moment when we both realized that our church would never do one unless someone stepped up to the plate and took initiative. So, with conviction and excitement in our hearts, Nate began planning the trip and Just Beyond (our college ministry) was 100% on board with the idea. Over the past few months, we have done all types of fundraisers (such as selling DELICOUS cinnamon buns during our church services, a giant yard sale, and helping a family move). Below are some photos from our incredibly successful yard sale. It’s truly amazing to see how much support we are receiving and we are all so encouraged by this. We are 100% funded and we leave for Jamaica on July 10th.

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As I prepare for this adventure, I can’t help but realize just how blessed we are here in America. The national gross income per person in the United States is over $33,000 whereas Jamaica’s national gross income per person is close to $5,000. That difference is astounding! My expectation for this trip is to serve the people of Jamaica, but I am certain I will return different than when I left. I think there are times when you must get out of your cozy, comfortable lifestyle and immerse yourself with those who are less fortunate in order to gain perspective. This will be my very first international trip, so I’m not sure what to expect and I’m a little nervous about what may come, but I’m also expectant that great things will happen as we serve and love the people there. Please keep our team of 12 in your thoughts and prayers the week of July 11th, especially Nate because this is his first time leading a missions trip (and an international one at that!). I will definitely be bringing my camera, so expect lots of photos when I return!

Have a wonderful day! See you back here on Tuesday!