Thank you all for your prayer and financial support and for signing up to receive updates as I prepare for my trip to South Africa. I have been trying to figure out what to write here, what updates I have, etc. Originally I thought that I could only write about the trip and stay solely on that topic. After more thought, I decided that was wrong. Because there are many more things/people that also need prayer and things that impact me, which may also impact the trip. I like lists, so be prepared for the e-mails to be numbered=)
1. As I prepare to go overseas to South Africa, many of my friends are already overseas obeying God's call and ministering to the world. Please pray for Casey Richard, who is Thailand for three months; "China Team", from NAU's InterVarsity Christian Fellowship group who left for China last week for six weeks; Ally Liem and Jon Watson and their team who left for Mozambique; and Anita Doerfler is also getting ready to go to a camp in Alaska. These people are incredible followers of Christ and some very dear friends of mine from Northern Arizona University. Pray for their safety as well as the countries/areas they are in.
2. I have been able to meet my May deadline, where I was able to submit $2000 thanks to you all and the support you provided. As I prepare to send in another $1650, due by June 22, I am excited to share that I need to raise about $400 more dollars to have the trip paid in full to Thrive Africa.
3. As some of you may have heard, my grandmother, my mom's mother, passed away earlier this week. This death brought heartbreak to the family and has weighed heavily on us. My parents drove to Kansas earlier this week and my brother, TJ, and I flew to Kansas on Friday to meet the rest of the family. On Saturday we attended her memorial service and Sunday and Monday (today) we all drove back to Arizona, approximately a 22 hour drive. I share this with you all for a couple of reasons.
Please pray for my family, particularly my mom and her brother and sister, as well as my grandpa--who was married to my grandma for 53 years, as we are all grieving.
That money that we spent on the plane tickets as well as car trip had originally been set aside by my parents to help financially support me for my domestic airfare and other various expenses for South Africa. Due to the unexpected use of this money, I must raise nearly an extra $500 that I had not planned for.
4. The world cup is coming up! The 2010 world cup will be in South Africa this year and begins June 11. I include this with an urgent prayer request. There is a very valid fear that the sex trafficking industry will boom in South Africa due to the world cup. Keep South Africa and the sex industry in your prayers, particularly during the world cup (June 11-July 11). Here is the link for Time Magazine's article covering the story: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1952335,00.html