Thursday, December 11, 2008

A 'Honeymoon' to Remember...

Ten years ago a crazy young couple exchanged vows, packed up the Uhaul and headed toward their new life in the South. Though I realize the years that have passed every time I look into a mirror; it’s still hard to believe that Donn and I have been married for almost a decade!

About a year ago, we decided that after 10 years it was about time we had a “proper” honeymoon. You see, when we got married, we literally had 5 days to hold a rehearsal dinner, pack up all our belongings, commit our lives to one another and then drive all the way from NY to NC – WOOOOSH! Needless to say, it was a crazy 5 days and our “honeymoon” became a stop-over on the coast of Maryland as we journeyed toward our new life.

So, last anniversary we began saving our pennies and researching our perfect honeymoon spot. I can’t tell you how excited we were when we found an amazing Mexican resort. We started tucking dollars away in the old coffee can and we dreamed of our “10 Year Honeymoon”.

But then something happened…As God has a way of doing; plans changed.

After a few months I started feeling like God might be saying that I should go on a mission trip. It’s been years since I’ve gone on a mission trip and I am a firm believer in missions.

About the same time, Donn started to feel God tugging at his heart about going on a mission trip.
When the fateful night hit when we both realized that we were having these feelings; our decision was made.

Our “Honeymoon” would be a missions trip instead of a Mexican Resort (we never did do much the “normal” way anyhow).

After much prayer and research, God has led us to a trip that we are both certain is where we are supposed to be. And so; from March 5th-14th Donn and I will bypass the Mexican Fiesta and head to sunny Liberia instead!

As you all know; we have a huge heart for adoption (and for Africa in particular) and on this trip we will be travelling with local believers to serve in an orphanage of over 450 kids (The Daniel Hoover Orphanage in Monrovia). Our main role will be to collect data on the children in the orphanage so that we can come back to the states and start trying to find homes for these kids (working in conjunction with the local adoption agency – Christian Adoption Services).

Currently, the orphanage does not have the resources to collect information on so many children and, of the 450+ kids, we only know specifics on 40 of them. I personally will be meeting with kids to find out their interests and hobbies and to compile a sort of “scrapbook” of their lives, dreams, medical conditions etc.

While there; another crew will be helping with repair projects and VBS ministry and of course, Donn will be doing some good ole’ fashioned sports ministry with the kids!

And so; the part you’ve all been waiting for… The price tag. Gulp.

Yup; it’s a big one…$6000 to be exact. Of the Six Thousand dollars, Five Thousand covers airfare alone. The remaining $1000 is to cover transportation in Liberia, food, lodging and supplies to make the orphanage repairs. Donn and I have already tucked away $700 toward the trip.

Coming off the heels of having just adopted Elle a year ago; we really questioned whether or not we could take on another support raising effort. A few times we decided that it was too much and the trip was not meant to be. But, every time those thoughts crept in; God completely reassured us that this IS IN FACT His will for us. We actually believe it so strongly that we think we would be living in disobedience if we didn’t take this leap of faith.

We know the economy is terrible and this is a tough time for everyone. We know that you may not be in a position to financially help us out; BUT we also know that God is bigger than any finances. We’ve seen the blessing that an adopted child is to a family and we know that we are being called to minster to these little blessings who are living in an orphanage far away.

Would you please pray for this trip? Pray, pray, pray. Please pray for planning, protection, changed lives and hearts and efficiency in accomplishing the tasks at hand.Would you also consider whether or not you are able to give any amount toward this effort? Last year we saw God raise $20,000 to bring our daughter home to us. Think of the countless children that will have the chance at a “home” because of the information we are able to collect on their behalf!

Donn and I can’t thank you enough for being a part of our life and of this new adventure! Yippee for a honeymoon to remember! Just to set the mood, I am planning on taking along some rose petals and maybe even a mint for Donn’s pillow!

Donn and Cyndie

Please make checks payable to:
Matthews United Methodist Church (with Liberia in the ‘Memo’)

Please also enclose a note with our names on it to ensure it makes it to the proper account

Send payments to:
Matthews United Methodist Church / Attn: Elizabeth Beardsley
801 S. Trade St.
Matthews, NC 28105

All donations are tax-deductible.