As we make final preparations for our 3 month trip overseas, we were thinking about some things we would like you to know before we leave. Here we go:
1. Packing to be away from home for 3 months is not an easy task. We have been preparing for months. We have been stocking up, thinking ahead, making and checking off 'to do' lists, getting dental and health checks, making lunch and dinner appointments with friends and supporters, etc. This past weekend, we started packing our belongings and supplies into one carry on roller bag and 2 backpacks, 2 large checked bags (with meticulous effort to keep the weight below 50 lbs.) as well as putting on a fresh set of strings and getting Cathy's guitar ready for the journey.
2. While spending 3 months in the UK and Ireland is going to be fun, it is also going to be a lot of work. We have 7 full weekend events and 2 one day events, as well as a week long conference that we will be attending as well as ministering. Our work week will start on Wednesday and Thursday prepping for the weekend, traveling to the venue on Thursday or Friday, running the events, traveling home either Sunday evening or Monday, debriefing with our team, blogging to keep you all in the loop, and recuperating. We know that rest is important so we are setting aside Tuesdays as our Sabbath. The rest of the week, we are on duty.
3. In all the beauty of what we are called to do, it also requires sacrifice. We are leaving the comforts of home, not to mention warm and sunny spring and summer days. We will be traveling every weekend, continually pouring out, sleeping in different beds, lugging around supplies and luggage, and more. Ministry is not for the faint of heart. It is beautiful, it is life giving, it is exciting to be doing what we're doing, but it is not easy. It is the best exhausting thing in the world, but it's still exhausting.
4. Even though we will be busy, if you email us or message us on social media, you will NOT be bothering us! In fact, hearing from people back home is life-giving to us. While ministering across the ocean, we can at times feel very far away and detached. Your support and love by way of the few minutes it takes you to drop us a line or comment on a blog post, means the world to us. So please, stay in touch.
5. Your prayers matter. A lot! The ministry we're called to is really making our enemy, the adversary, mad. He doesn't want these ladies to get free. He doesn't want them to encounter who God truly is and how much He loves them. He doesn't want them to make a difference for the Kingdom of God in the world around them. So, he likes to mess with us, with the attendees, with technology, with whatever else he can mess with, trying to distract us or thwart what God want's to do. Good News: He's already lost, and he knows it, but still - your prayers matter. We absolutely need prayer support - not just for the two of us, but for our entire team: Juliette Alston and Beverly Richardson who are joining us as prayer ministers, and Heather Bradford, Sharon Clark and Dianne Stevenson, our hosts and drivers. Whenever you see our posts on social media or are reminded of us in your day-to-day, please pray for us, even if it's a quick sentence.
6. When all is said and done, no matter the sacrifice, no matter the hassle involved in the preparation, no matter how sore the backs, how cold and rainy the weather, how long the days and frequent the travel, we wouldn't trade this for anything! God has crafted the entire vision of Simply-Worship and Dash Away Weekends. That He allows us to care for and walk out this vision with such favor is incredibly humbling. We are so grateful.
Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland - here we come!