The devil is a nasty little thing. He works through the thoughts in my mind and on the strings of my heart in ways I easily turn a blind eye to. Ways that make evil seem like a natural reality.

We have exactly 46 days before we leave for Zimbabwe. Mine and Chris's first mission trip opportunity as a couple. I wondered if we'd ever be able to do something like this together, as marriage tends to lead quickly towards having kids, who tend to suck all your time and money, which tends to leave little opportunity for fulfilling God's work beyond the boundaries of your home. But we've been blessed with this amazing opportunity to serve in an African country. Training over the past year has overflowed with information about the country, the culture, and hypothetical situations we should be prepared for. Emotionally and spiritually preparing ourselves (if that's even possible) for the poverty we are about to witness and the everyday reality of yet another child dying from AIDS or malnutrition. And now we're down to the last 6 weeks. My heart starts racing faster everytime I think about how close it's getting.

So where's the devil in all this? He makes me forget that Jesus was able to raise the dead. That God spoke to Moses in a burning bush. That miracles do happen. He's allowed the stress of the financial aspect of this trip to burden me to the point of tears. To make me question if we should be going at all. To feel bitter about the letters we sent out to friends and family asking for support twice - and not getting a single response. To underestimate God's power and ability to work it all out. I mean....realistically...Martha lost hope when Jesus didn't make it to Lazarus' bedside before he died. And was already placed in a tomb. But that didn't matter. And I haven't lost faith that God can and will provide the money for us to do His work.

We originally had to raise $6,000 for the trip, which was due in full last night. Through the support of my immediate family, our church's mission budget, and our own money, we have raised $3,200. Our tickets were bought at $2016.30/each. So without looking at any other aspect of the trip, we now owe $922.60 for the flight alone. The devil tells me it'll never happen. God tells me to trust in Him.

I sat down last night to add up the bare minimum we will need outside of that amount. Including 2 rounds of shots for both of us, money for visas, food, TSA locks for our luggage, emergency money for the "just in case", and travel insurance - we're looking at another $1,200. The devil tells me it'll never happen. God tells me to trust in Him.

Unfortunately, Chris will be missing out on 2 paychecks while we are away, as he has no paid vacation time available at his job. So we also have to have extra money in the bank at the end of September to cover the bills in October we'll still have. At the VERY least - $250. Ideally, $500. The devil tells me it'll never happen. God tells me to trust in Him.

The women are required to wear skirts that come to their ankles during the trip. I have 2. Which means I have to go buy several more. Our team, as a whole, is planning on leaving the majority of our clothing behind when we come back. Chris will also need to purchase clothes to take and leave in Africa. Purchasing 2 weeks' worth of clothes at a thrift store for both Chris and I will be at least $100. The devil tells me it'll never happen. God tells me to trust in Him.

I haven't lost faith. I know God can provide for us to go on this trip. And I know I can't just sit back and wait for Him to perform a miracle. My biggest fear is coming across as a desperate beggar. But I can't allow the devil to crush my faith in God for the next 6 weeks. Matthew 7:7 tells me that I should "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." If you have a heart for missions, and are able to join us in this effort, please visit and click on the “donations” tab at the top. Or, if you have further questions, feel free to email me at .

I will continue to keep you updated on the mission, and are so thankful for the continued love and support you provide. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue preparing for our time over there!
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