I will be taking off in about one month for South Africa! I have been able to purchase my domestic airfare and since I will be gone for the next week and a half, I have also sent in my final payment to Thrive! What God has been showing me through the financial support is truly astounding. I have now paid in full for everything. While my domestic airfare and a little over $100 for Thrive were not met through fundraising, I was thankfully provided with enough funds through working to cover for those things. Once I fax my immunization records to Thrive, I will have all of the logistics done for the trip!
My flight plans are as follows: I will be driving up to Phoenix on July 7 to make my flight out of Phoenix, AZ at 6am on July 8 and will meet with my team in Washington DC and on the same day, we will take off for Johannesburg, with a layover in Paris. I fly back to the United States on July 27 (from Johannesburg to DC to Phoenix) and arrive in the Phoenix airport around 8pm (AZ time).
I love the images in this video and the lyrics in the song and is a reminder of who Jesus is and how much this world needs our God and what we need to be living for. This world can be changed, radically changed because of the power of His name. "I will live to carry Your compassion, to love a world that is broken, to be your hands and feet. And I will give with a life that I've been given and go beyond religion to see the world be changed by the power of your name."
Why am I going to South Africa? Because Jesus said so. Because I'm called to be compassionate, to change the world, to be His hands and feet. If you are a follower of Jesus, boldly ask Him where He wants to take you. He may say to stay where you are. And that's okay. He may say go next door. Hey may say go to a remote location, He may say hold on, He may say something you want to hear, He may say something you don't want to hear. Wherever He sends you and for however long He sends you, is good. I never actually wanted to go anywhere. I was content in the United States. I always joked about going to Africa, but I never really wanted to go. Once He made it clear it was no longer a joke, I doubted I was ever actually going to go. I doubted I'd raise enough. I doubted I could do it, I doubted I was strong enough. Until yesterday, when I sent in the last payment of $1,650 totaling $3,850. It's starting to settle in now. It's real. I'm going. I'm going to a place I know little about with people I've never met and using a passport for the first time to witness to people I've never really learned about. I'm going to South Africa simply because God wants me to go there. And more and more, I'm starting to want to go there myself.
The 2010 World Cup has started! McDonald's has cups, coke cans are covered with the logo, and many commercials are focused on the World Cup. I hit on the concerns of the impacts of the World Cup in South Africa to the sex industry in my last e-mail. Perhaps you would like further investigation or articles, not just from Time magazine, to really prove that this is an issue. Here's a more recent one on the ESPN website, with a video and article: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=5251940
Sex trafficking is an issue and the issue is at a heightened risk in South Africa because of the World Cup. Pray for those who have traveled to South Africa to watch the World Cup, those who live in South Africa, and those who are already involved in this industry.