I dropped Sarah off at the airport this afternoon to begin her African adventure! She will be spending the next 4 weeks volunteering at a small school called Kechene School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The 80 students at this school are between the ages of 5 and 11, and are destitute, many of them orphans. She will be living at Cherokee House with several other volunteers, all working in various capacities in the city - education, orphan care, health care, community development, etc.
I have been a little bit nervous about her traveling to Africa alone, and traveling around a strange city in an impoverished 4th world country.
But God has shown himself to us in the details....
First of all, Sarah raised all the funds she needed, plus some, just by sending out letters to family and friends. Didn't the economy just tank these past 6-8 months? I did not believe that she would be able to raise over $3000 in only 4 months this way - but she did.
Second, there was the fact that Sarah still needed to EARN some money this summer to help pay for her senior year of college! Being out of the country for the month of June made approaching potential employers a bit difficult. But then friends who have their own business offered to hire her to help sort and organize files in their office this summer - with a flexible schedule that would accomodate time off whenever she needed it!
So she has been shopping and organizing and packing this past week or so, getting ready to leave on May 31st. She was given some money to buy things for the school, so she was saving that for last, once she could see how much space she had left, since the airline only allows her to check two bags, up to 50 lbs each. Yesterday afternoon she was sitting here in the kitchen with her friend Bekah, getting ready to go to WalMart, when my friend, Sabrina called. Sabrina is the travel agent who booked Sarah's tickets for her ( and got her a GREAT price, by the way!) Sabrina said she was just checking on something Sarah needed for her flight " tomorrow".
Tomorrow? Sarah and I looked at each other, Sarah ran to her room and grabbed her ticket - - - and lo and behold, her departure date was not the 31st, but the 30th!!!! How in the world we got that wrong, I don't know! But I do know that if Sabrina hadn't called, we would have been at the airport a day late!
So I dropped her off this afternoon and watched her make her way through the security maze at the airport. Her checked baggage squeaked in under the weight limit... whew! The first leg of her journey took her to Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC, where she had a layover of several hours. Sarah is excited, but was a little nervous about traveling alone and arriving in Addis Ababa, just praying that the promised person from Cherokee House will be there to meet her. I told her to strike up some conversations with other travelers at the gate - couples going to adopt, other young people heading over to do humanitarian work.
Then she could at least ask these new friends for help if she ended up stranded at the other end. Well, by another great "coincidence", Sarah got to the departure gate at Dulles and found out that two girls she had been facebooking who were also going to be living at Cherokee House were booked on the same flight. These two were supposed to leave for Africa last Wednesday, but got bumped from their flight and rescheduled for Monday. Well, they decided to just go to the airport this morning and see if they could get on an earlier flight, and they happened to get seats on Sarah's flight!!! So now she has traveling companions!
Do you see a coincidence here... or DO YOU SEE GOD? One thing I have learned from hanging around my friend Eileen is to see God in the details. I see God showing my daughter that He has indeed called her to this journey. I am so amazed that He would even reassure a nervous mother, letting me know that He has everything under control.
I'll be posting updates on Sarah's blog as she sends them to me.
Another thing I've learned from Eileen is that not only does God continually show himself all around us, but He wants us to TELL OTHERS, that they might believe. So I am telling you.
Buckle up your seatbelt, folks. We are in for a wild ride!!!!
I'll be updating her blog as she sends me info, so follow along at