Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Brazil Sponsor Tour 2012: Part 1

Over the next few days I am going to be speaking about my trip to Brazil this past May. I'm also going to flash this link: http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/default.htm around a lot. Please look at the page, pray over the children, and ask God to show you the needs of these children. Please choose one to sponsor if you feel compelled but if you are unable please continue to pray for these children and the country staff.

To begin my Brazil story, I must take you back to March, 2011. I was home for spring break, relaxing, sleeping, and putting off homework. One afternoon I decided to check the Compassion website and the sponsor trip page, as I did every once and a while, to see if a trip to Brazil was on the horizon. On a side bar I noticed: Brazil, May 19-27 2012. Registration was not yet available, or any other details of the trip, but I'm pretty sure my heart stopped for a couple of seconds. The date was the perfect time. School would be done for the summer and summer responsibilities would be starting after the trip was over. This was it. A dream I had created for myself in 2005 when I was thirteen-years-old, could finally come true.

I screamed and ran into the kitchen where my parents were talking about their upcoming spring break trip with my younger brother to Mexico (they were leaving in a couple of days). I exploded with a "MOMDADGUESSWHAT?! COMPASSIONISGOINGTOBRAZILINMAYANDI'MGOING!!!" They looked at me like "What? Okaaay? This is the last thing we want to think about right now because our passports haven't come yet and we're about to leave for Mexico." So I was alone in my excitement for a little while :)

I continually informed my parents that I was doing this and that this was the time for me to go and they were apprehensive to say the least. I had commercially flown once before with my family and been out of the country once before with my family. I've traveled a lot, but never alone.

I sought out more information about the trip. I talked to a friend's sister who went to Honduras to meet her sponsored child earlier in the year and she gave me the information of Misty who has been on dozens of Compassion trips (she actually became my roommate in Brazil...) Misty and I talked for a while and she answered some of my huge, glaring questions about the trip and helped my family and I feel better about the entire thing.

Fast forward to September, 2011. Details of the trip are posted and it's a whopping $1000 more than I was expecting it to be. I didn't have enough saved to go and I wasn't going to make enough with my work study job throughout the year to be able to go. I debated and prayed a lot about whether or not this was the right thing for me to do. If I waited, I would have enough money but it may not be a good time. After much deliberation, on September 19, 2011 (exactly 8 months before I would leave) I registered to go to Brazil.

Up until I left in May I worked on raising money and telling as many people as I could about my trip. Thankfully, my church was extremely supportive with my mission and that support made the trip possible. While I was praying about the trip and asking God whether or not I should go, one of the things I asked was that if this was when I was meant to go, that He help me find a way to get there, and He most certainly did.

As the weeks passed and the trip became closer, I learned more about the trip and talked to some of my fellow trip mates. I went shopping for Isadora and my excitement level grew exponentially. I had some apprehensions about the first and last parts of the trip, getting to Miami to meet up with my group and getting home all by myself. But I knew in my heart that God was watching out for me and that He wanted me doing this which helped put me at ease.

When I woke up the morning of May 19th, I smiled and probably squealed a little bit because this was it. Today was the day. I was so excited. My dad and I had already talked about the Chicago and Miami airports so I felt confident about the upcoming day and my nerves were all but gone.

I got to the airport plenty early with my parents, we said our goodbyes and I went along by myself to begin my journey. As I sat in my seat and looked out of the window as the plane taxied down the runway I could only smile. When the plane lifted into the air I said to myself, "Let the adventure begin"



To be continued...

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