My blog post is coming out late tonight, but I have a good reason for it.
To fully understand, I think I have to take you back to the beginning of this story. A couple of months ago, I found out about this awesome study abroad trip to London that my college was going on in May. Immediately I wanted in on it. London has always been my dream; I’ve wanted to see the sights and monuments for as long as I can remember. I’m an English major, so this seemed like a no-brainer for me. I’m steeped in Brit Lit, and felt a pull to experience the culture first hand instead of simply through a book or play. I was ecstatic. I vowed to make this trip work any way possible.
At the same time, my church announced that it would be taking a mission team down to Costa Rica in March. The team would work in hospitals, churches, and schools, doing whatever needed to be done to help the people while spreading God’s word. Though the trip sounded amazing, I knew I couldn’t possibly make both work, especially after paying for next semester and needing money to pay rent and live on. So, I pushed this to the back burner. It would happen some other time.
But you know that saying about God laughing at our plans? That’s exactly what happened to me.
I made my plans and decided that was it. I was making London happen no matter what. But, as it sometimes happens, things began to fall through around the same time that I began praying for a sign on which trip I needed to take. I had been feeling as if I was being pulled in two separate directions and felt like I wasn’t getting a straight answer from God. However, He was speaking to me through the whole ordeal and I didn’t even realize it.One afternoon, I stumbled across Isaiah 6:8, a verse I’ve had highlighted in my Bible for years, and the answer became clear: this trip took priority. Just as I came to understand that Costa Rica was my calling, I realized that I had missed the deadline; the trip wasn’t happening for me, and I was devastated.
However, God had the plan in motion still. As I sat in church that Sunday, Pastor Mike told the congregation that spots were still available. If we felt moved to turn in an application still, he encouraged us to do so. That afternoon, I immediately sat down and began to explain my path to this decision and why I felt compelled to join the group.
Just last week I got the text that I had been approved; I was officially on the team headed to Costa Rica.
Guys, I cannot explain the amount of joy my heart is still feeling. I can’t wait to serve God in the country of Costa Rica. I’ve never left the country or traveled that far; how awesome is it that I get to travel further than I ever have to spread the word of God?
I spent tonight brainstorming about fundraising ideas when I stumbled across the Pura Vida website. My roommate and I had discussed possibly doing that to help with costs, and it just felt right. Pura Vida is a company that sells bracelets produced in Costa Rica. Every single bracelet produced is made in Costa Rica by local artisans. To date, this company employs over 100 Costa Ricans on a full time basis. Many of the bracelets are also designed with charities in mind. From sea turtle foundations to Down syndrome and MS Awareness, there is something for everyone. Proceeds from every charity bracelet bought are given directly to the charity itself. Pura Vida has donated over $1 million dollars to charity since its founding 5 years ago.
So, that’s what I’ve spent my night doing: deciding on what bracelets to buy and sell to anyone who wants to support Costa Rica and my trip (some are pictured to the left and some further below). I love the message this company stands upon, and the bracelets are super cute, too (if you’re interested, please let me know! I have those pictured above and an assortment of others coming in soon). I got so wrapped up into my decisions and calls that I lost track of my allotted blogging time. I’m ecstatic about this opportunity, and the fact that I can make a difference while fundraising is huge to me; after all, this trip isn’t about me at all. It’s about Him.
That being said, money certainly isn’t everything. If you could do anything for me, I would ask that you keep this mission and the others on my team in your prayers. Although March seems like a long time from now, I’m preparing my heart and mind to go on this trip to serve God. Any and all prayers are so appreciated.
I am so excited to follow God’s path He has outlined for me. If you have any questions about my trip or would like to get ahold of me to chat, please feel free to do so. I’m ecstatic for this opportunity and would love to share my experience with you. 🙂