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It all started with Nancy. She told us about a trip she was planning to Mae La Refugee camp in Thailand in June, and how excited she was. My mom mentioned how badly I want to go with her someday… Nancy said, “Oh, she will. Someday.”

Indeed. Well, the June thing didn’t work out, which ended up being good (I’m always crazy busy in June). It got rescheduled until September. And for us, in April, that seemed like a LOONG way away. Anyway, lots of people started telling my mom, “Hey, you and Michelle should go with Nancy!” Mom started praying, and began the LOONG process of convincing my dad that this was a God-sign. Nancy kept rubbing in our welcome to join the team; my dad eventually said it was okay.

“JUST AS LONG as there are Chapel pastors going.”

?! Well, it was a Chapel trip… but since when do pastors go to a completely new missions location? We prayed away. And the next thing you know, Nancy called us and said that two were going, to explore the possibility of Thailand being a Fresh Passion ministry.

We applied for passports.

I joined the Chapel as an official member, we filled out passport applications, we did Partner’s applications (the organization based in Thailand), completed Chapel applications… I’m gonna be so great at college ones someday. The trip still seemed oh so unreal, though. It was April. And I was absolutely convinced that one of the places I sent a form to would have an issue because I’m underage. I mean, what missions agency wants to put up with a TEENAGER? (Urban Vision – that’s another story ;).)

All the applications came back positive. We wrote a support letter. It still seemed ridiculous. Like I had time to go to Thailand, and how on EARTH were we going to raise $6,000 to go? Well… this support letter got sent out, and for the first time, it felt official.

We were going to Thailand.

My dad assured me that if Mom and I didn’t raise enough money, only she would go. And again, I felt that pang of “You’re too young…” hitting me. But at the time, I was so involved in my internship that Thailand couldn’t have seemed further away.
Eventually, we DID raise enough support. I think Dad only had to pay $15 toward our trip total (which excludes supplies, but they didn’t cost TOO much.), and then I felt a real pang in my stomach.

I really AM going to Thailand!

I remember the last meeting I had at Urban Vision. Three of seven interns were absent, which stank, but I was still with the Level 2 teenagers and realized just how bad I would miss them…my brothers and sisters in our Lord. I was talking with Jodi during our hanging out time – Jodi, my teacher trainer, mentor, and friend – about how God-filled I felt at Urban Vision, and what a hole there would be after I left. Jeff came over later and asked if I could share about Thailand right before we left.

OH LORDY. I’m REALLY going to Thailand… and that’s the NEXT BIG THING on my schedule!

My intern brother, Juvante, prayed for the trip before we left. And I realized that even though I would have ANY of my siblings with me, God would be my provider and meet all my needs. I’m always afraid of being lonely, yet in that moment of prayer, I realized that God would be it. He would meet my EVERY need.

We went to Thailand, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life! I’ll be posting my trip journal later :).

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