Wow, I can't believe there are only 21 days left until I travel with 14 friends to Guatemala. These past seven months (has it really been that long?!) have been such a journey within themselves. The fundraising, oh the fundraising. When I first decided I had to be a part of this mission, I knew I wouldn't be able to afford to pay for it on my own. Seven months of hard fundraising - popcorn sales, the spaghetti dinner, the chili cook-off, dessert auctions, and lots of fundraising letters asking for help from friends and family - and I was able to raise about half the cost of the trip! How awesome is that?! Still, at the beginning of this endeavor I knew I wouldn't have enough to put toward the trip, but God provided and I was able to come up with the other half. Amazing...
Now with 21 days before we travel to the jungle, I've started packing! I'm allowed to take two checked pieces of luggage and one carry on. One of the checked will have my clothes, the other will be stuffed with supplies for Bryan (a.k.a. the jungle medic). I went to Goodwill and bought an inexpensive used suitcase so I can leave it there with Bryan - when he delivers a baby, he'll stuff the suitcase I left with donated diapers, formula, and a baby blanket and give it to the family to take home to their hut. They'll use my $7 Goodwill suitcase as a baby bassinet so the baby won't have to sleep on a grass mat on the dirt floor of their hut. This is only one small realization of what I'm going to see first hand when I get down there.
For the contents of my Goodwill suitcase for the trip down, I've stuffed it with baby blankets that Kylie doesn't need (how sad it makes me that we've got seven blankets to spare, but many families down there don't even have a blanket to cover their newborns in), medical supplies that friends have donated (tylenol products, vitamins, ibuprofen, anti-itch cream), a set of twin sheets to use in the dormitory while we're down there and leave for Bryan to use after I leave, and a set of bath towels to do the same with. I've got a little room left and I'd like to put in a box or two of non-latex medical gloves - size large or extra-large if possible - if anyone would be able to donate I would greatly appreciate it.
I am so excited about this trip - I can't believe I have to wait 21 more days, but at the same time I can't believe there are only 21 days left! Haha! The same dichotomy exists in my mind regarding the impact this trip is going to have on me. Part of me doesn't know what to expect, but the other knows that it's going to change my perspective on a lot of things in a big way. No matter how it affects me personally, I look forward to being able to help the people in those villages with my two hands and reaching out to them with my heart. I pray that this mission blesses them ten times more than I could ever imagine being blessed myself and I am so grateful to be able to help in the small way that I can.
If any of you don't know about what Bryan does down in Guatemala, check out his newly revamped website - www.junglemedicmissions.org
*Photos are from www.junglemedicmissions.org