T-Minus 19 Days

In less than one month I will be leaving the country for the first time.

For two weeks of this Christmas break, I’ll be serving the Lord in East Asia. As I’ve been preparing for this trip–praying for peace and patience and safety, raising and saving money, researching tips for international travel–I have learned so much more than I had originally anticipated.

I went on my first missions trip to Philadelphia as a college freshman in March 2015. I decided to go on the trip because I had never been farther north than D.C. and I thought it would be fun to experience the northeast in early spring. Through the course of that trip and the weeks and months following, God rocked my world.

He turned my life and my plans upside down and, looking back now, I don’t think I ever realized why until fairly recently.

In the nearly two years since that trip, I’ve gone to serve in Detroit, Baton Rouge and twice in New York City, trips that have each impacted my heart greatly. Yet, as I ready myself to fly to the other side of the world, I feel something different, something major, with this particular trip.

My team and I will be in mountain villages where there are currently no long-term missionaries or churches established. We will spend our two weeks there praying for the Lord to cultivate relationships, relationships that we will then begin to build ourselves with people who have never heard the name of Jesus.

While I frequently talk with people who don’t know Jesus, I can’t think of any times I’ve talked to someone who has simply never heard his name. Just thinking about the conversations we will have with the people in the villages simultaneously breaks my heart and fills it with joy. I cannot wait to meet these people, to see their faces as they hear the gospel for the very first time.

This is why God flipped my life on its head after that initial mission trip to Philly. I was made to spread the good news of Jesus and it’s for this purpose, His purpose, that I’ll be spending this Christmas on the opposite side of the globe.

I write all of this to ask you for your help.

First and foremost, please join me in prayer for this trip. Pray that the Lord will guide each of the team members as we prepare to travel internationally, some of us (actually, just me) for the first time. Pray for safety on both the flight there and the flight back. Pray that God will begin–I know He already has–and continue to work in the hearts of the people and missionaries in the area we will be working in. Pray that the Spirit will fill each of our hearts and that we will follow Him with full obedience and total surrender. Pray that we see the fruit of our work. Pray that even if we don’t, we will trust that the Lord is faithful and that His word never returns void.

Secondly, I want to ask you to support me financially. I have been blessed by gifts from multiple people through the forms of fundraising and generous donations, through my church in Tuscaloosa and from my family. As time winds down, I still find myself $1,100 short of my balance for this trip. I cannot express the gratitude I feel for how the Lord has provided through others already, and I know He will continue to be faithful far into the future. If you’d like to support me in this way, I’ve placed my PayPal link at the bottom of this post along with info on a Christmas canvas *fun*draiser I’m doing (see what I did there?)

I am beyond excited to see how God uses this team, this trip and this season in ways we could never imagine. I want to thank everyone who has supported me in kind words, with prayers and by giving, and extend those thanks to those who will continue to provide. I can’t wait to see what the Lord has waiting for us there and as we return home to share our stories. I look forward to sharing His goodness, faithfulness and love!

 

Below is my PayPal link for those who would like to support me financially!

paypal.me/DanielleWaddell

Also, to raise money for the trip, I’m painting and selling the canvases that are in the picture at the top of the post. If you’d like to buy one–they’re $7–please PM on Facebook, comment on this post or contact me in any way. Again, thank you!

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