Thursday, June 28, 2012

Packing...need I say more?

Numbers. You like numbers? I like numbers. Here's some numbers:

36 hours till my plane leaves Tulsa for NYC.
5 hour plane ride from Tulsa to LaGuardia Airport
2 days till I'm in NYC
10ish hours I will spend in NYC {seeing ONCE The Musical I might add!!}
3 days till I'm on a cruise ship headed for Bermuda
5 days total at sea {to and from Bermuda}
3ish days "esplorin" Bermuda
3.5 days between returning from Bermuda to leaving for Serbia
14 days till Serbia
2 times I have to pack a suitcase

Take that and divide it by 3.14 and you get a math nerd, a crazy month, and a girl who's about to pull her hair out deciding what to pack and how many pairs of shoes are absolutely necessary.

Packing might be the death of me.  But, at least I'm working on my playlist and listening to good music like Air Traffic Controller


Calli

Sunday, June 24, 2012

18 Days Till Serbia

I leave for Serbia in 18 days. 

Yes, Serbia not to be confused with Siberia {which I did in my head the first time I heard about this opportunity} and it's three countries to the right of Italy or click here. Serbia and some of the surrounding countries made up what was formerly known as Yugoslavia. Life has been slightly insane the last few months so I haven't had time to really notify the World Wide Web about my plans. Forgive me.

We had our final meeting tonight to cover some logistics {for my sanity} and go over any other "cultural norms" we needed to know before going. I'm a little nervous since this will be my first international trip but overall I'm ecstatic.

How did I choose Serbia?

I had decided that I wanted to go on an international mission trip in 2012 and was looking at a few options that were through my church. I had sorta settled on one trip but was open to other opportunities. So back in November, Chris {our group's leader} gave his testimony about an organization, Bridges For Christ, he was involved in as well as a board member that supported missionaries in Serbia {that was the moment where I thought, oh, Siberia, must be cold}. He said he was looking at taking a group in 2012 and I knew at that moment I had to find out more.

I contacted his wife, Nicole, and met with her {at Braum's} to talk about Serbia. We hit it off almost immediately and she has become a very good friend and mentor figure in my life - more of that some other time :). I'm not quite sure when the exact moment was where I made the firm decision to go but it was somewhere between meeting at Braum's and playing The Game of Redneck Life with Nicole and some girls from RSU. When I met with Chris & Nicole in early January to talk through the trip itself and give them the definitive yes, I was ready to go.

Over the last six months or so, I've had the privilege of spending time with them {mainly Nicole} each week and not always, but part of the time we end up talking about Serbia.  During that time, I've fallen in love with a country and a people I've yet to meet. In Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz, he says, in regards to liking jazz music, "sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way." I believe that Chris & Nicole have "shown me the way" not only to love the people of Serbia but so many other things to. I am forever grateful that the Lord brought you guys in my life at the time he did.

I leave in 18 days. I'm going on a cruise to Bermuda with my company in 6 days which really only leaves me about 9 days total to prepare for Serbia. Yikes, says the planning, organized part of me.

I will try to post again before I leave on the cruise and give you more insight as to what we will do when we get to Serbia. Until then, please keep me and my team in your prayers:
- Flexibility {for myself, especially}
- Unity and like-mindedness within our team {Chris, Matt, Beth, and me}
- Hearts that will be open and teachable
- Patience in a culture and language that is not our own
- Safety in travel
- That we would be a blessing, not a hindrance to the workers and their ministry

Thank you for taking the time to read about this awesome opportunity I have to share Christ's love with a people who dearly need to hear and know. Thank you for your friendship and your prayers. Please feel free to comment with any questions.

Calli

Listening to
"Keep Your Eyes Open"
The Reckoning
by NEEDTOBREATHE


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