Saturday, July 31, 2010

Prayer Requests

Wow, the past 10 weeks have just flown by and I can hardly believe that in just three days I'll be on my way to Ukraine. God's hand has been so clearly behind all of this and I truly feel like so many of the events over the past four years of my life have been leading up to this trip... I am anxious to see what God has in store for me over the next six months. (If you're not a regular follower of my blog and would like to read more about why I'm going to Ukraine, or, if you are a regular reader and just want a little reminder, please read this post and this post).

Anyway, I wanted to post some prayer requests for my upcoming trip:

1) Health and safety – Although it's not Africa, Ukraine has it's own health and safety risks. Working with hundreds of kids every week will naturally expose me to many germs and I know that last winter orphanages in Ukraine experienced a significant outbreak of the H1N1 virus. In addition, the roads in Ukraine are generally in poor condition which can potentially pose threats while traveling. Please pray that God would protect me as I travel around the country and to and from the orphanages each day and that He would strengthen my immune system to be able to fight off any illness.

2) Language – In the Congo, I learned firsthand just how hard a language barrier can be. In the area I will be in in Ukraine, people speak mostly Russian and there is little to no English. I am happy to report that I know more Russian now than I knew Swahili before I arrived in Congo but that really doesn't say much :) I am finding the Russian language quite difficult and although I will have a translator with me in Ukraine, I really want to learn enough to be able to communicate on my own. Please pray that God would give me the motivation, discipline and ability to pick up the language quickly and that I would not be hindered by the language barrier in my ministry to the kids.

3) Companionship – Another thing I learned in Congo is that a language barrier can be very isolating. In fact, probably the hardest thing for me in Congo was not having anyone to talk to, to share my heart with, etc. and the thought of going six whole months like that is at times quite daunting. Please pray that God would provide a friend(s) who I can laugh with, cry with, pray with...

4) Open doors of opportunity – Ever since I first started praying about going to Eastern Europe, my heart has been drawn to the neglected, truly 'unwanted' children. I long to hold and to love children who spend their days simply laying in a crib, children like the ones posted about here. The problem is that often these children are often not allowed to be held, visitors are not permitted to spend time in the rooms where they are. Please join me in praying that God would give me favor with the staff at the orphanages I will be volunteering at and that He would grant me unique opportunities to not only hold and love these children but to be used by Him as a catalyst for change, showing the staff just how precious these children are.

5) Strength in the midst of brokenness – I get the sense that emotionally, this trip is going to be harder than anything I have ever done before, especially if God allows me to do what I truly want to do. My heart's cry continues to be, "God, break my heart with the things that break Yours". I don't want to become numb to the pain of this world. I want to love these children the way God does and I know that that will bring great heartache. Please pray that I would allow myself to be broken by the brokenness that I see and that, even in the midst of it all, that God would daily give the strength I need to keep going.

Thanks for praying!

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