In 17 days, I will be travelling to Budapest, Hungary. This trip, however, is different than the typical dream Europe “vacay” one might imagine. Instead of being filled with sights and fine dining it is going to be filled with a whole lot of Jesus (not to say that we will not take in the glory of Budapest). As most of you know, my mom and I are attending a conference with the organization my mom works for, Christian Associates. Then, my mom and I will meet my dad in Turkey to work with local churches to see how Santa Cruz Bible Church can come alongside the refugee crisis. This post isn’t about the what or the how; it’s the why (If you want to know more about the what and how, check out this link). I promised to keep those who have supported me, both financially and through prayer, updated before, during, and after the trip, so here goes!
I have always longed to see the world while simultaneously playing an active role in expanding God’s kingdom. For many, that means traveling to Africa to an orphanage and building schools. But through this trip, I feel God is calling me to witness his kingdom in a vastly different way. While I am so grateful for the tight-knit community I have found in one of the most gorgeous places on the west coast, I’ve longed to expand my world view; it can be pretty easy to never leave the bubble of Santa Cruz. So when my mom casually asked if I wanted to join her on her trip to Hungary last winter, I eagerly said yes, but still remained cautious. My mom has invited me on a few international outings before, but, by no fault of her own, I was unable to attend.This time, however, everything that needed to happen for this trip continues to fall into place by God’s gracious hand.
At this moment, I am almost 90% funded, which is beyond incredible. Initially when my mom explained how much support I would need to raise, I became filled with dread because I felt pre-guilty about asking people for money. In my mind, I figured asking for money was placing this huge burden on people. However, as soon as I posted the GoFundMe, so many quickly responded with generous amounts and heartfelt prayers. I felt ridiculous thinking that this was all about me. Raising support is a partnership, and that’s part of the reason in writing this blog post; I want to ensure that those supporting me in any way were truly involved throughout this entire process.
God has just blown my mind at how faithful He is in every way possible. First, with finances, and now with in equipping me spiritually for the trip. That has been one thing I personally have been praying for all summer, and it was also mentioned on the GoFundMe page and in support letters in how to be praying for the trip. I can’t bear to think of how sad it would be to go on such a huge trip only to have it be wasted because my heart was hardened or blinded towards God’s goodness. Fortunately, I can’t even begin to explain how greatly the Holy Spirit has been working in my life. I went on a lake trip with my church high school ministry last week, and rather than experiencing that typical camp high, I felt renewed more than anything. Since then, I feel so alive and God has felt so present in every aspect of my life: a true answer to prayer.
One awesome thing about this trip that I mentioned earlier is that it is so beyond different than a typical missions trip. It won’t be in a third world country; there are no service projects, no Vacation Bible Schools. There will be new people, meetings, and sight-seeings. And while sights will be incredible, I am mainly looking forward to seeing how vast and incredible God’s kingdom is. In light of the many recent, tragic events happening around the world, I am excited to be able to see in person how God is still extremely active around the world in the midst of darkness.
I cannot begin to describe how grateful I am for all of your support, whether it be financial or prayer. Continue to be praying for safety, for energy and physical health, for life-long connections, and for a malleable heart throughout the trip. I look forward to continuing to update you about the journey!