In just one week I leave for what has become the trip of a lifetime.
What began as an eight-day mission trip to Myanmar has become an around the world adventure.
I am unbelievably excited, and, yes, maybe just a little nervous.
Let me explain.
A few months ago I was brought into a email correspondence with a pastor in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) named David, in an effort to help them to best use some medical supplies that had been donated to them. As the conversation continued between Pastor David, one of my elders, and a businessman from my church (who chairs a foundation called Kingdom of Love), it became clear that more help was needed than we could give from afar.
So the three of us, along with another pastor who has a close relationship with Pastor David, will be headed to Myanmar on October 28th. We will be doing community assessment, with the long term goal of starting a clinic in the area. The men will be looking for viable business opportunities to train Burmese women and men in to eventually support the clinic. I will be performing physical assessments on all of the children in the orphanage that Pastor David oversees.
It's a lot to do in eight days.
As I started planning the trip, I realized how short it was going to be, and how expensive it is to fly all the way to southeast asia.
So I started looking for opportunities to extend my trip and make use of all the money being spent on airfare.
Enter Sri Lanka.
I have a wonderful friend from Biola, Thilini, who is from Sri Lanka. She recently graduated and moved back to Sri Lanka, and is graciously hosting me for 6 days after I leave Myanmar.
Her dad is a pastor and they have all sorts of ministries in Sri Lanka - an orphanage, girls home, widow's home, and a recently opened clinic, to name a few. I'm looking forward to seeing the ministry they do there and experiencing such a beautiful country!
An unexpected change.
Until two weeks ago, my plan was to come home after Sri Lanka.
However, my good friends Shawn and Melissa Gorham got a great deal on tickets and booked a spur of the moment trip to South Africa for the first few weeks of November.
She text me and told me they had booked, and immediately I realized that I had yet to book my return flight from Sri Lanka, and the dates would be perfect for me to fly down and join them in South Africa for a few days.
It's been the #1 destination on my travel list for at least six years - even before I started going to Southlands Church, where South Africans are more common than palm trees in Huntington Beach.
I'll spare you the play-by-play, but let's just say, God is so gracious, and I managed to add on a week in Durban, South Africa, for only $350!
To say I am excited is a huge understatement.
To go to South Africa is incredible, and to go with such great friends (who are graciously letting me crash their vacation) makes it ten times more exciting.
Hopefully I come back with all my limbs.
I've watched enough shark week to know there's a lot of great whites over there, and Shawn expects me to jump off a pier and stand up paddleboard (we'll see about that).
Just the facts:
8 Days in Myanmar
6 Day in Sri Lanka
7 Days in South Africa
67 hours on airplanes
86 hours total travel time
3 layovers in Beijing, Bangkok and Abu Dhabi
1 trip all the way around the world
If you pray,
I'd love for you to pray for:
wisdom and discernment in medical assessment and treatment
an individual for me to give basic medical training to
a viable business opportunity to pursue in Myanmar
lasting relationships to be built
safety and favor in travel
Check back for updates on my trip!