19 May 2014

Leaving On A Jet Plane (Well, Eventually...)

Tomorrow is May 20th.
For months I've been waiting for this day to arrive. A day that I will get on a plane and fly halfway around the world to see my friends--my family--that I haven't seen in almost three years.

In that time, babies have been born, funerals have been held, weddings have taken place--I knew I would be returning to a new Kitale...knowing that, I too, am a newer (more whole) version of myself.

I've been a mix of nervous and excited...

On Saturday, May 17th, the US Department of State posted a travel advisory detailing the current risks of traveling to Kenya.

I prayed and processed through what this post meant for my trip.

I discussed it with one of our Outreach Pastors, a Kenyan man who knows so much about my heart for his country.

And, together, we decided that I should postpone my trip...that in light of my traveling alone and to parts of the country outside of my home in Kitale, it would be a wise choice for me to wait a few months for the threats and occurrences of terrorists attacks to subside.

I notified my parents (and bosses) immediately and nearly all of them expressed that they too had been fearful of my safety this time around. Nine trips to Kenya and neither of my parents had ever expressed fear--only the typical "please be safe"--never a "please don't go"--and yet, in the last week, both had mentioned that they were concerned.

Yesterday, I called the airline and, as a result of the State Department's notification, they changed the dates of my ticket--free of charge--to November.

Thank you so much for all of your prayerful and financial support leading up to this trip. It's been really humbling and encouraging to hear the excitement of others amidst my anxious anticipation.

I am wading through my feelings about delaying the trip as I unpack my half-filled suitcase and store the gifts and supplies I'd purchased. It will be strange to go to work this week, as if there had never been other plans in place...but I fully trust that we made the right decision. I believe that this new timeline will only make the trip stronger and more exciting.

Thanks again...for reading this blog, for caring about this trip, for standing alongside of me in the beginning of this new journey.

Love. Love. Love.


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Julie Hibbard said...

I am so happy that you are safe and sound in Costa Mesa tonight! I love you so much and know how tough the decision was for you.
Praying for you...and loving you so much.