Sunday, August 5, 2007


My friend Ann used to have a segment on her blog called "Thanksgiving Thursday." If my memory serves me correctly, she began Thanksgiving Thursdays in order to have a deliberate time of thanksgiving and gratefulness each week, probably in an attempt to keep her focus positive when things may not have been so easy. For the last 8 months or so, as I have been training and preparing to leave for Natal, God has showed up in the strangest places, blessed me in the most unexpected ways, and used people whom I would not have sought out to encourage me and help give me confidence when it was non-existent. With my departure 29 days away, I thought I should remember and share some of those blessings.

1. My mom and dad. I'm often unintelligible and irrational when I cry, and so I try to subject as few people as possible to myself when I'm in that state. My mom and dad fielded so many phone calls of panic and discouragement, and without their wisdom (missionary and parental) I don't known that I would be going, and going happily, in 38 days. I still have an email sitting in my Inbox from my dad, who, when I emailed with a joyful update on my fundraising, said "That’s wonderful. I say…you praise God and take this as one more sign that He really wants you to serve the church in Natal this next year." That was exactly what I needed to hear.

2. My friends. If you have so much as asked me "Are you excited?", then you are one of my blessings. It has meant so much to me to have friends who care enough about what I'm doing to ask simple questions. It sounds silly, I know, but even simple questions let me know you've thought about me, and who doesn't like to be thought about? I appreciate my friends who have consistently asked how my fundraising is coming along, and obviously my friends who have made the sacrifice to give me financial support. I have learned a lot about generosity through this time, and have been humbled by the conviction that I am nowhere near as generous as my friends. Nowhere near it. I'm definitely learning...

3. My friend Whitney. Do you know Whitney Mann? No? Then you're missing out. Whitney
and I met last year as we were both preparing to go on our respective LST projects, mine to Brazil and her's to Thailand. We connected instantly, and since then we have had a special friendship like none I have ever had before. We both share a passion for missions, and through her encouragement and support I've learned how special it is to have friends who share the same interests and goals as you. She has become my go-to friend, the first person I want to talk to anytime something exciting happens with Natal. I know that when I call her (or Facebook her, or text her, whatever) that she will rejoice with me, understand me, and share her insight. Whitney and I are not friends by accident, and I know the Lord had special intentions for us when He got us both to go on LST in 2006. If you don't know her, meet her. She looks like this ^^.

4. My doctor. Strange? Perhaps. Let me explain. I had been really concerned about how I would afford my medications while I was in Natal. I seem to have the most obscure conditions that require the most expensive of medicines (of course) that are definitely not budgeted for and would run my bank account dry. I went to a new doctor last week and talked to her about what kind of options I had for one medicine in particular that costs me $50 per month. She told me that she would give me some samples (what I was hoping for...) but that she didn't have any. Right then she got up and said "I'm going to call my drug rep right now, and if he knows what's good for him he'll get us some of those." First of all, what doctor gets up and does that right then and there? I love her. Second of all, I was praying that Brian the Drug Rep would have some good news for us. My doctor called me on Monday and said that Brian had brought her every last bit of this particular medicine he had left in the warehouse, 15 boxes' worth. Doing some quick math, that's $750 of FREE MEDICINE that she gave me, enough to get through my first 15 months in Natal. Don't tell me God isn't in the details...because God worked in my details in a way I never could have imagined.

5. My supporters. I've mentioned before that I had money come from the most random of places, but I need to mention again that I received money from the most random of places. My aunt's best friend whom I spent two hours with at Thankgiving. Friends from high school whom I lost touch with after graduation. (THANK YOU, Facebook.) My parent's friends. My friend's parents. Friends at ACU whom I never hung out with. My aunt and uncle's congregation. A mission's committee member at my church whom I have never met but who read my fundraising letter. I had no idea that so many people were willing to support missions, let alone me, and once again I need to mention how much the fundraising process has humbled me and convicted me. Thank you, if you are in this category. You are making it possible for me to go.

6. My friends in Brazil. I've copied some of the emails I have received from Natal on here before, but those are just a couple of the many encouraging notes and messages I get from the people in Natal, telling me how excited they are for me to arrive. They tell me they miss me and that I will have a lot of work to do, and how they are already recruiting readers who are excited and ready for me to come. They say "We are waiting for you," in each message they send, and that phrase alone means the world.

I arrive in Brazil one month from today....eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Please keep me in your prayers!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Cris,
I'm glad to hear you made it! We love you.
p.s. Becky started 8th grade, Samuel's a Junior!!
Only one baby at home!