After two intense Wycliffe trainings, one in Dallas and one in Orlando, I began raising support. I talked to my church, to Bible studies, friends I worked with or have served with before. I wrote letters, emails, made multiple phone calls, and prayed for God’s guidance.
Wycliffe assigned someone to help me think through everything that needed to be complete before I left. She encouraged me to set a deadline, and I decided it would be December 24th. This way, if I didn’t make it to the January POC (Pacific Orientation Course) in Papua New Guinea, I would at least know how to approach the holidays with family (either saying goodbye or accepting and enjoying a little more time with them). As it got closer, multiple people told me that doing everything in six months was unlikely. Maybe I should change my expectations, shoot for something more reasonable, attainable. No. I felt like God was putting it on my heart and I wanted to follow in obedience.
Reading back on another blog I reflect on what God did during that time:
“I remember driving to my brothers house the day before Christmas Eve. It was a cold day in Virginia and my thoughts began to wander. How was I going to get to PNG? I only had 52% of my monthly support raised and my departure was getting WAY too close… A little ways into the trip I got a phone call from a friend. She explained that her father wanted to support me and if I needed any more support, other members of her family would be willing to support me. I sat there astounded by God’s grace. She gave me her fathers number and I called him. His pledge gave me hope. When I arrived at my brothers my head was spinning. Maybe I WOULD be going to PNG after all. Although I was happy about the prospect, all the things that had to be done were filling my mind. I decided to go online and see if anyone else had committed to partner with me. To my surprise, two more people had pledged, bumping me to 100%. By noon on Christmas Eve 2010 I had 100% of my support! Praise GOD!”
Read more here.
Packing began soon after Christmas. Farewells were hard, especially with my five little nieces and nephews. At one point I even had a friend come and fill out packing information for me!
Finally, I boarded my plane with a one way ticket to Papua New Guinea! Flying single has always been a bit overwhelming to me, but at least I was flying through countries that spoke English. God continued to provide for me when I arrived at POC… but you’ll have to read the next blog to hear about that. ;)