We received good news yesterday and bad news today. I always like to start with the positive….
Between our own savings and a generous donation we received yesterday, we were able to secure our airfare before the prices went any higher than they have already climbed. This is a HUGE relief. We were able to send a final flight itinerary to our contact in Poland, Dave Hatfield, so that he can continue working on all of our arrangements for travel, housing, etc. We are very grateful for the faithful couple who felt led to contribute to our trip and made this possible. Although I’m not sure they want to be publicly recognized, we want to say thank you.
Now for the bad news…. we had already been informed that our accommodations for a portion of our trip would have to be changed due to a huge price spike in hotel cost caused by the Euro Cup, which Warsaw will be hosting toward the end of our trip. We will be housed in a church rather than spending triple the money on a hotel room for the days we’ll be in Warsaw prior to our flight back to the U.S. However, the Euro Cup is apparently causing an increase in a lot of other prices as well… food, transportation, etc. which will still affect us and are not avoidable. This has caused us to have to raise our total fund raising goal by a few dollars. The amount is estimated, so any extra money that we might end up with will go directly back to Global Missionary Ministries and Ostróda Camp.
Despite the bad news and the fact that asking for financial support is not fun, we are getting very excited about our opportunity to serve in this way. Having plane seats with our names on them makes this all the more real. I (Rachel) have to admit a bit of nervousness as well, having never been out of the country (unless you count Canada). But I know from experience that giving in ministry will cause me to grow as well and will change someone’s life… and for that I will leave my comfort zone!
When Ben traveled to this camp in Poland a few years ago for short-term mission work, our daughter Anna was five years old. We talked to her about why Daddy was going to be gone for so long. Later, when someone was talking to her about missing her Dad, Anna told them “My Daddy’s in Poland telling people God loves them. People need to know that.” Wow. This brought instant tears to my eyes because it meant that even in his absence, Ben was ministering to his own daughter in a powerful way. He was setting an example for her to share Christ to the world, and she was understanding that.
We hope to continue teaching our children about the importance of ministry, missions and telling people about Christ through this journey back to Poland. Being away from our kids for more than two weeks will be hard, but in the end we hope that it will leave on them a more lasting impression. Perhaps, when they are older, short-term missions can be something we do as a whole family.
When Ben and I first talked about returning to Poland, this time together, it seemed a little crazy. I mean both of us going means raising twice the financial support and figuring out who is going to care for our two small children for over two full weeks. Seems tricky at best. But before I’ve even been able to finish this site and start sending it out to start raising support, God has started to answer those concerns. We think we already have a tentative plan for childcare that will allow them to spend some quality time with grandparents and come home with great memories. Today we learned that a couple in our church has received some unexpected money and wants to support us financially. The amount they are contributing, when combined with what we have been able to save ourselves, will put us already half way to our goal.
Just another reminder that what seems like a mountain to us, is nothing for our God.