Today’s the big day! In just a few hours, I’ll be boarding a plane for an 18-hour flight to South Africa.
The past two weeks, I experienced quite a few moments where I felt anxious — anxious over the unknowns, anxious over how I would survive such a long flight, anxious over stepping outside my comfort zone, anxious over flying internationally without my husband, anxious about jet lag, anxious about cultural differences.
Overwhelmed By the What Ifs
I had a few nights where I struggled to sleep because I pictured myself cooped up on an airplane for 18 hours and I started to consider all the what ifs.
What if I start feeling claustrophobic just a few hours into the flight?
What if I can’t sleep at all on the flight and arrive in South Africa an exhausted, irritable mess?
What if the airplane has mechanical failure?
What if I get terribly sick from something I eat or drink in South Africa?
What if…? What if…? What if…?
Some people people crave adventure and adrenaline rush; I prefer familiarity and sameness. I have irrational fears involving meeting new people, being in new situations, and not having a set plan in place. What ifs and unknowns can make me stressed and anxious. Enough to feel like I might hyperventilate.
So I’ve had many moments where I’ve wondered what I was thinking when I signed up for this trip. But I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that I’m supposed to go on this trip. And I really feel like it’s going to impact my life in big ways for years to come.
From Fear To Excitement
Also, in the last few days, I’ve felt such a peace about the whole trip. In fact, I’ve started to get really excited about it.
I’m excited about the opportunity to experience a new culture, learn about the struggles South Africans face, see the hope they have, hear about their victories, and get a better grasp on their needs and how we can come alongside and partner with them.
I’m also really thrilled to get to update you in person about the community center, veggie garden, playground, and laundry center many of you helped build in Maubane!
Thank You So Much For Being Our Cheerleaders
So many of you have mentioned that you are praying for me and I just want to tell you thank you so much. I truly feel your prayers. I feel such peace and calmness and excitement about this trip — and I know that that is every bit a result of your prayers and the grace of God.
I have to tell you, I woke up this morning to an outpouring of texts and emails and tweets and Instagram messages from you all with words of encouragement. With so many needs and to-do’s, the fact that you all would care enough to take time to pray and share words of encouragement is a very humbling thing for me.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for praying and cheering for us in this. We feel so loved and supported.
Meet Our 4-Person Team
We wanted to introduce you to our little team and share some specific prayer requests for those of you who want to be praying for us. Here are some of the specific prayer requests from each of the four members of our team who will be spending 18 hours together in row 58 seats D, E, F, & G:
Been doing this trip between continents for two decades now
Will be staying at her parents’ house
Her brother and sister-in-law in South Africa are expecting their first baby the same week
You can follow her here on Instagram this week.
Lisa-Jo’s Prayer Requests:
- That I would be a generous host, conscious of the needs of my fellow travelers and quick to encourage them.
- That even though we have so few days in country it would be enough time for South Africa to burrow deep into the hearts of our team
- For safety and for courage and for hope in the midst of what others might see as poverty and despair. That we would find the joy and be faithful tellers of those stories for each of you.
- For special times of bonding with my first born, my South African son, Jackson
- For peace and health and hopefully managing just fine without us for my husband Peter and precious Micah and Zoe.
Been doing this trip since he was born
On his second passport
Seasoned traveler who is most excited about watching movies for 18 hours straight.
(this is him hugging Lisa-Jo’s little brother good-bye last time they were home –a year ago).
Jackson’s Prayer Requests:
- That we would be safe on the long flight.
- That I have lots of time to catch up with my big brother, Karabo.
- That me and my mom have fun.
- That my brother and little sister are OK without me.
First time flying longer than a 5-hour trip
Her 3 kids and husband will spend the week doing historical trips in DC while she’s away
Nervous but excited to get another stamp in her passport!
You can follow me here on Instagram this week.
My Prayer Requests:
- A calm spirit during both flights and the ability to sleep on both flights so that I can arrive in South Africa and then back home to my family feeling rested, cheerful, and energetic instead of exhausted and drained.
- An open heart to whatever God wants to teach me through this trip — that my heart would never be the same as a result of this trip.
- That I would be a blessing and an encouragement to each person I am with on the trip.
Fly by the seat of her pants extrovert
Helps Crystal manage her blog and business
Mom to 4 kiddos
Bringing her Go-Pro camera with her so we can document the trip for you all!
You can follow her here on Instagram this week.
Joy’s Prayer Requests:
- Pray for my husband and four kiddos at home. Eight nights is a long time for mama to be gone and Africa is a long way away.
- Pray for my mind to settle and for any anxiousness to be gone, so that I can focus on this experience and soak up every bit of it without being distracted.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to be unleashed to do a mighty mighty work through this team and in my own heart. God is up to something and it’s a HUGE blessing to get to be a small part of it.
And now I’m off to wash my hair, double-check all my luggage to make sure I have everything on my list, and head to the airport!
Next time you hear from me, I’ll be in sunny and hot South Africa! I can hardly believe it!