Into Africa

Well friends, we’re six days into the new year, so I thought it was time to update you on my short-term mission trip to Africa!

I have spent the last few months fundraising for this trip and I have already raised about $1400! That’s about 1/3 of the cost! Praise God! Thank you to all who have donated! I’m thrilled to be partnering with you; to serve the people of Malawi. My plan is to update you through my blog. I have a new category at the top of my blog called “Africa!” You can always check there for the latest updates.

I have to admit, once the donations started coming in, I started to wake up at night worrying.

“How could I leave Earl and the kids for two weeks?”
“What if I don’t come home?”
“What if I let them (my sponsors) down?”

And then a few days ago, I received an encouraging email from our team leader (Rachel). Her last statement was this:

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.”

Those words resonated with me.  Of course I’m going to be nervous. Of course I’m going to be scared. I’m seriously stepping out of my comfort zone here. But, for a long time I’ve dreamed of serving in Africa and I believe that God is calling me there.

This week, I will be renewing my passport. It’s not due to expire until October, which is after the trip, but I figured it’s better to be safe than sorry.  I’ll also make an appointment with a travel doctor. I believe we have a good one here in Storrs who will make sure that I have the necessary vaccines. The flights have not been booked yet, but we’re fairly sure the dates are August 17-31, 2013.

Our days will be spent serving the people of Malawi and working alongside the locals.  Projects may include a medical mission day, delivering Buckets of Hope (supplies for the caregivers of those infected with AIDS), distributing dresses and shorts, teaching Bible classes,  carrying water, holding babies,  praying over the sick and anything else we are called to do.

We will each take two bags: one for our own stuff and one for the dresses.

The cost of the trip includes lodging, food, water, a translator & transportation. Breakfast and dinner are included, but we are to bring things like granola bars, peanut butter and other snacks for lunches. Our rooms will be double rooms with assigned roommates.  They will be simple, but adequate. I don’t know anyone I  will be travelling with. Our team consists of people from Michigan, Alaska, California & Connecticut! I think our plan is to meet in DC and all fly out together.

I’m praying that God will use me to radiate His love to His people in Africa. I’m also praying that I will gain wisdom from this trip; that the people of Malawi will have something to teach me too.

As Rachel says:  “You will find the people of Malawi to be genuinely hospitable and proud that you have honored them with a visit.  They are a proud and warm people.  You do not need to pity them.  In some ways they have a lot more going on than we do, but you’ll see that yourself.”

I want to see life simplified, I want to feel gratitude for our many blessings; I want to see hope & love in the midst of trials. To be honest, I’m not sure what I’ll see. But I’ll blog about it, so you can see it too.

I still need to raise about $2100 before August 1st. For every person / family who donates toward my trip, I will personally take one handmade dress to Malawi in your name. Here’s one of the dresses I made last year:

 

For those of you who still wish to donate, here’s how you can do it:
  • Go to www.littledressesforafrica.org
  • Click on “donate”
  • Scroll all the way down to the bottom, until you find my name listed under “Africa Trip 2013 – I’d like to donate to a specific traveler”
  • Click on my name (Jana MacDonald)
  • Enter your donation amount and then pay with a credit card or use paypal
If you prefer snail mail, you can send a check to:

Little Dresses for Africa
24614 Curtis Dr.
Brownstown, MI 48134

Please make sure you put my name in the memo, if you want the funds to go directly toward my trip.

Thank you to all who have generously donated. Thank you to those who are partnering with me in prayer. And many thanks to the people who have offered to make dresses for me to take along on this journey.  We are doing this together, sending hope and love to the least of these… one little dress at a time. 

 

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