I am so crazy-excited to announce that the FIRST STAGE OF OUR FUNDRAISING IS OVER! Thanks to the amazing generosity of so many of you, we have amassed enough funds to buy the plane tickets and have bought them. In short:
WE WILL BE GOING TO ROMANIA ON APRIL 5th!!!!!
God has been so faithful through you to get us this far. I seriously cannot believe it's actually happening. Up till the night Mr. Tate purchased the tickets, it didn't feel real. It felt like a probably "someday" thing, but it didn't feel imminent. Not by any means.
But then we got emails in our inboxes with our flight information and it hit me. I'm going to Romania. We're going to Romania!!! It's pretty amazing right now. :) It's a long and complex story, but two members of our team, Alaina and Justin Wright, are leaving this afternoon for a pre-mission's trip visit to the Bale family in Romania. They will return sometime in late March, and then will join us for the official Missions Trip. Like the 12 spies of Israel, right? ;)
In the last several weeks, the member-list of the team has shifted around so many times, we thought we'd never get it straight. ;) My brother got a job that is moving him up to Northern Virginia (four hours away), Matthew sprained his ankle, and the adult on the trip switched from being my dad to one of the other team member's mothers. All told, there are eight of us going:
A specific prayer request would be for Matthew's ankle. He will get off his crutches the day before we leave for Romania, and will be using a splint while on the trip. Please pray that he isn't in much pain, and that he'll be able to hobble about without reinjuring his foot.
So now that we've got the first round of fundraising finished, what next? Well, just this: We're not a third-world country over here in America, but money is tight for most people, including us. That's why I'm so blessed by all the donations we received--selfless giving when I know that the money could probably have been used other places just as readily. But tight money also means that there are extra needs for the team. We would use out of pocket money if we had out of pocket money. As it is, we're needing to raise funds for the following things:
Outfitting: Some of us have used Virginia's mild winters as an excuse not to buy the right shoes, but going to Romania we can't make do with paper-thin ballet flats. It's just not going to work. Shoes and coats are two of the major things we need to peg before leaving the country. We are also buying Berkey water-bottles, as we were advised that the tap water is perfectly clean, but has different bacteria and might make us slightly sick if we drank it straight. Berkey bottles filter water, and we figured that would be easier on ourselves and our hosts to not have to constantly buy bottled water. :P
Gift-money: We would like to be able to bring money to Romania to be used to buy gifts for our hosts, and to be able to help out with feeding our group. You know--money to buy different foods at the market and bring it home with us to add to dinner. Also, money to buy some "American gifts" to bring over and distribute for fun. :)
Practical money: We need to have some "practical money" for things like meals in the airport, the occasional purchase in Romania, and swing-money for anything that might come up that requires cash. You never know what you'll come up with the need for.
Again, thank you all so much for all the help and prayer so far. I really feel that God is blessing this trip, and it wouldn't be happening without you letting Him work through your families. So thank you. :) Please be praying for Matthew's ankle, and the provision of the other things. I will keep you updated! Those of you who live locally, stay tuned for some of the fundraising events we are planning! It's going to be amazing! We will keep this blog updated so watch this space. ;)
With great excitement,