I’m Here!!!!!!

After 30+ hours of traveling, I am finally at my final destination: The Philippines! It’s only been one week since I left home, but within that time so much has occurred. During the week between my leaving home and my arriving in the Philippines, I have learned so much at what is lovingly called “Dis-Orientation.” The first two days of disorientation were all about racism and white supremacy. It got uncomfortable, confusing, frustrating, depressing, and so much more. My biggest frustration was that I sat in a room for 18+ hours talking about a problem that I had no idea how to fix. There is no simple equation to solving the world’s problem of white supremacy; it is so complex and involves so many parts – one person can’t solve it. I may write another blog post about that talk because I wont do it justice if I leave it at that.

Another major part of my week was coming to terms with the fact that mission work does not have a pretty history. It is the cause of so much hurt to many different places. And even if mission work means something different to me, I will always be associated with its rough history because “mission” has touched many places. I am on a mission to learn from those around me, however I have to accept the fact that some people wont see it that way.

On a brighter note, I met some amazing people this past week. The diversity among the YAVs was inspiring and amazing. I’m hoping we can all keep in touch and share our experiences throughout the next year. After hanging out with my fellow Philippines YAVs, I have some optimistic hopes for the future. Although, I normally don’t get homesick, I probably will at some point because this experience is new, different, and far away. But I know that God’s got me covered! I will rely on Him more than I ever have before. He is my strength and through Him, I can do anything.

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Success!!

Wow! I have some amazing supporters out there! Two days ago, I was informed that I have met and exceeded my fundraising goal of $4,000 by January 2017. I mean, that is just amazing! I met my fundraising goal before I even left for the trip. I just want to thank everyone who has donated so far. You are truly amazing.

Now, just because I have met my fundraising goal does not mean I am no longer accepting more donations. It costs approximately $24,000 to send one person to an international site in the YAV program. Although, I am only required to raise $4,000, each additional dollar you all help me raise will benefit my fellow Philippine YAVs and me. That money assists us with the program costs, such as room, board, health insurance, transportation, and training.

Whether or not you are able to support me financially, know that I cherish spiritual support above all. My journey in the Philippines is one that will bring me closer to God and strengthen my faith. I will need all of the spiritual support I can get. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers while I am away from my home, family, and friends for the next 10 months.