Sunday, November 06, 2011

Twas the Night Before Ecuador

There are two kinds of people in this world - those who pack days in advance and those who pack the night before. Which one are you?

I've never understood packing days in advance. I still need all my stuff until it's time to go! In typical Amanda form, I will be up long after the kids are in bed tonight with the washer and dryer working over time. I will be so wound up from packing that I'll probably have a hard time falling asleep. But all the craziness of packing and collecting the things I need for this trip (helloooooo Walmart on a Saturday) are going to be more than worth it.

If you've had the blessing of giving birth to more than one child, you might be able to relate to how I'm feeling tonight. I've spent months imagining this trip and what it will be like. I am so excited about playing with the precious kids, hearing their songs, talking to their mothers, and meeting the wonderful adults who lead their projects. I know I'm going to have rich experiences in the bus/canoe with the team. I feel a little less nervous and a little more secure about what's going to happen when I get there. Those are huge pluses.

But I keep having this thought:

Oh, crud, this is going to hurt. There's just no way around it.

(Someone reading this is weeks away from giving birth for the second time and she is nodding her head right now.)

Will you pray for our team? Did I hear a yes? A few yeses? Oh, thank you. I believe that your prayers will make a huge impact on our trip. Here are a few things you could pray for:

-Perfect health and protection for our team and for families back home.
-That the Holy Spirit will give us the words to write each night.
-That many, many, many, many blog readers will be prompted to sponsor children living in extreme poverty in Ecuador.
-That Jesus will be near to us, that we we will hear His voice, and that He will be glorified in our lives through this trip.
-That the enemy will be bound from having any influence.

I want to thank you in advance for holding up my arms during this trip. One other thing besides your prayers (and sponsorship, but that's obvious, right?) would be a huge encouragement. Would you let me know you're here? As the week goes on, would you let me hear your voices? I know sometimes it's hard to find words when posts are serious, but an "I'm praying!" or a "Still here," or a "Keep it up, sister," would help spur me on.

Thank you so much, friends. You guys have enriched my life in more ways than I could ever count. God alone knows.

Okay, are you ready? Let's go to Ecuador.

P.S. You can follow our team on Twitter here.


143 comments:

Colin and Jess said...

I'll be praying for a good night's rest, safety for all throughout the trip, and many learning and teaching experiences. God is good--always remember.

I can't wait to hear more!

Jessica
www.bringingyoumorethanasong.blogspot.com

beckyjomama said...

Sweet Amanda - I am praying for you and the whole team! SO proud of you for signing up for this again when you know the pain that comes with the beauty of serving in this way.
Girl - He is BEAUTIFUL in you!

Praying you through!

Leslie said...

How awesome is this!!!! You are going to have a great time and get to hug on so many sweet Compassion children!

Pam said...

Praying for you all! Will be following on twitter, too.

Skubaliscious said...

Will be reading and praying.

pinkdaisyjane said...

So excited to hear about your trip. I'm following you all on twitter and look forward to the stories and the photos.

Many blessings on you and the team and the families that will be home praying you through!

Kristi Stewart said...

Will be following!

Lydia said...

I read regularly and follow you on Twitter. I will definitely be praying for you and the rest of the team. It's a great one that you're going with and I can't wait to hear all about it!

Ana Brooks said...

Hi, Amanda! I just started (silently) following your blog a couple weeks ago. It has been an encouragement to see what God has done in your life through past blog posts and I am anticipating hearing what he is going to do on your trip.

Vanessa said...

I will b praying for u, ur family, and the whole traveling team. How long will u b gone for!?
God Bless!!!

Kristen Maddux said...

What a fabulous opportunity! It is bad to be *a tad bit* jealous? :) Seriously, though. What a wonderful team you have surrounding you. I will be praying. God will be exalted. I just know it.

Kelli said...

I'm praying! Have a great trip.. I will be here every day reading what you, Me;l and Sophie have to say!

Rachel said...

Praying for you! Went to Ecaudor last summer, and it changed my life. Excited to see what God does on the Compassion trip.

Lisa said...

I'm praying right now and will keep it up. It is my honor and privilege; thank you for being obedient and being the hands and feet of our Jesus!

Mary said...

I will be lifting you and your team up all week in prayer. Looking forward to hearing all about your trip and what awesome things God has in store for you all.

The Campbells said...

I will be following and praying! Love following you here and on twitter!
Much Praise for what you are walking in to do for His Glory Alone,
Suzanne
www.journeyto838.blogspot.com

Jenn said...

Dear Amanda,
Every time I read your blog, I wish we could meet up for coffee and chat! I too just sent my first born to kindergarten this year, and my two year old have his own idea of Who is in charge:) And my husband is a youth pastor, and we live next to the church. And I really just love Jesus and want to serve Him every day. And I think that means even when shopping the clearance rack at Target:)
So, with all that said...Girl, you have my prayers. I pray that the Holy Spirit knocks your socks off and that your heart breaks and that you know, know, know that Jesus can hear, heal and bring all that you need. So bring love and joy and Jesus to kids and Mommas in Ecuador and know that a kindred spirit in Massachusetts is on her knees for you. every day.
always, Jenn Parker

Casey C. Springer said...

Praying your requests! So excited for your experience

Heather said...

You got it friend!! Praying for you, no doubt God will do a mighty work through you guys!! Love you, can't wait to hear all about it!!!

Kristy said...

Can. Not. Wait. to read the posts this week! The blogger trips are a tremendous blessing to Compassion Advocates. Thank you for your willingness to go and use your God given talents to bless!!!

Nicole said...

Will be praying for all you asked and for you precious fam at home :) I am asking the Holy Spirit to give you words that are anointed and accurately describe what you see and experience. You are a gifted writer, Amanda, and I am asking Him to give you words that echo His heart. Have a blast :)

Lolli said...

i'm from Auburn, Alabama and following all your blogs that are going on this trip. Yall are brave and inspiring. Be encouraged! I have been to Ecuador on a church mission trip and you will fall in love with the people, for sure.
I will be praying for you.

Johnnie said...

I will be praying for you every single day!

trinna said...

Praying for you Amanda! I can't wait to read about the precious ones you meet.

Trinna

Jen said...

Here! Praying over your trip!

Hilary said...

I'm here, and will be praying for you!

Laura said...

I am praying for you...for your team too. I know God will do an amazing work in your hearts and the people you are visiting too. So proud of you!

Keep being ruined for the ordinary!
xo

Missy said...

Praying for you! Love you, friend. Can not wait to hear from you!

Kiki said...

I'm excited to live through your blog this week!

AKat said...

I'm here and I'm praying, Amanda.

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

I know God has amazing things in store for this trip...I will be praying from West Virginia and following along all week.

Sandy said...

Praying for all of y'all and the sweet children to know the love of Jesus.

Karen E said...

God is with you and your group, Amanda! You'll be in my prayers.

Gena said...

Will be following and praying. Let your joy be full!

StacieHope365 said...

Praying for you Amanda and the rest of the team!!

Love Stacie

Casi said...

Praying!

Deidre said...

Will ABSOLUTELY be praying, Amanda. Thanks for the list of things to pray for. Printing them out. Excited for all of you.

Monica said...

Here and praying...

Heather Bug said...

I'll be praying for your group, Amanda!

Karen said...

Praying for you to have a safe and joyous trip. I know God will bless you and each person you meet on this trip, especially the children. Can't wait to read all about it. Was awesome to be able to pray for you in the group at BCF early this AM.

Brittany said...

Praying big things for this trip and for your family while Momma is away. So looking forward to following all of the team's posts- thanks for taking us along with you! =)

JottinMama said...

I'll be praying for you, the rest of the team, and all of your precious families this week. Be encouraged and strengthened by that :)

Blessings,
Katie :)

Unknown said...

Praying for you in Calgary, Canada! :)

Amanda said...

Praying!! My husband and I became the sponsors of a little boy in Thailand during the last Compassion blogger trip.

SO excited to see God's love and work carried out through you guys. Also praying for you all to have the Holy Spirit speak through your words...those blog posts I read from the last trip touched my soul to its very core!!

Kristen said...

I will be praying sweet friend! Looking forward to reading all that He is doing.

Melissa said...

Praying for you, your team, and your sweet family!

HJoy said...

Praying for you, Amanda, as you go!

Heather
heatherjoyspigner.blogspot.com

Crystal said...

Remember that God will be walking right there beside you throughout every experience. You will all be in my prayers. And someday I hope I can go on a trip like this!

Tiffany said...

I look forward to reading and will be praying for you and your team.

Julie and Richard said...

I am praying for you all!

scarthur said...

Praying for you as you prepare to leave your family tomorrow. I know how hard that can be, even more difficult when you have two to leave. Praying as you travel, as you arrive, for your heart and emotions as you cope with what you see and share it with so many. May God bring many blessings along the way.

Annie said...

I'm so excited to read what you and Kelly write while you're in Ecuador. I'll be praying! Mission trips like this are eye-opening in so many ways. I have been to South America once, to Venezuela, and God taught me so much while I was there. I'm looking forward to seeing a different part of it now, through different eyes.

Donita said...

Praying for you from Tucson.
God gave me these verses for you and your "traveling companions"...
Ps 84:10-12 One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship,
beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches.
I'd rather scrub floors in the house of my God
than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin.
All sunshine and sovereign is God,
generous in gifts and glory.
He doesn't scrimp with his traveling companions.
It's smooth sailing all the way with God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

From the Bumpy Road said...

Praying and reading!

Kodi said...

I'm here and I'm praying.

Marla Taviano said...

Praying today and every day. Love you!

Dee said...

I will be following and praying. I pray God's favor all of you and your families.

Sharon said...

Oh man.... praying!! And soooo wishing, too, that I could go! I'll be there with you... and with THEM, in Spirit! May God show Himself VIVID, LOUD, ALL OVER the place, and OVERWHELMINGLY WONDEROUS every hour, everywhere you and they look! As you spend your night preparing (I'm also a last-minuter), just think how many hours that our God Himself has prepared for this journey that He's invited you along on!!!!!!!! Wow, at the wonder!

Jackie said...

Hey Amanda, I'll be praying for you each day and looking forward to reading your posts each night. I know God is going to do great things through this trip and you all. We will miss you on Thursday night. Blessings... :) Jackie

Keri C said...

Love this post and can't wait to see all that the Lord is going to do with this trip!! I will be praying and eager to read updates:)
Much love and many blessings!

Laura said...

Amanda...praying for you! I sponsered a child last year and I loved it! Changed my life forever!

Excited of what GOD has in store for you!

Ms. Frackman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristen@Chasing Blue Skies said...

I'm praying your requests and will be reading your words, Amanda. May God bless and keep you, may He make His face shine upon you, grant you His mercy and give you His peace. Much love!

Julie said...

It is such an exciting time for so many! Kelly Stamps is going too and I am so jealous that the two of you will either meet or already know one another! lol

We currently have TEN children over seas that we support through Compassion. I never ever imagined we would sponsor ten children that we have never met, but it is such an amazing experience.

I encourage everyone to sponsor at least one child. The difference you will make with your love, encouragement, prayers and support cannot be measured.

Have a great trip Amanda!

destinmimi said...

Amanda,
Praying for each request and thanking God for this opportunity for you! Will be checking in all week!!
Love,
Siesta Martha in MS

Kelly said...

Praying for you and your fabulous team! May God do a mighty work in your lives, the lives of those you meet, and the lives (including mine) of those who read about your experiences! I'll also be praying for you family who will undoubtedly look forward to your return with great anticipation.

~Kelly
exceptionallyavg.com

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

Reading, praying, cheering you all on in Jesus' Intervening Name. May lives be forever changed....

Bianca said...

Have a GREAT trip, Amanda! :)

Marc and Charity said...

I'll be here...reading, crying and praying.... hugs to you!

~ Laurie said...

Praying for you this morning! The night before we left for Port-Au-Prince, Haiti I was up late, late and I barely slept! Too much excitement! We were on our way to meet the children we are adopting so there was a mixture of excitement and nerves all together.

Laurie
www.peanutbutterandfluff.blogspot.com

Angie said...

Will be reading and praying!

fuzzytop said...

We will be praying for these requests Amanda! Can't wait to hear your posts from Ecuador!

Adrienne

Stephanie said...

Here and Praying! Looking forward to your posts, as well as Big Mama's and Kelly's.

ncmama said...

Amanda, I can not wait to hear what you have to share! I'm looking forward to sharing the posts of the team with my boys (7 & 9). We've talked with them about sponsorship, and asked them to pray about whether or not it's something God is leading them to do. My youngest is generous beyond belief, but the older...well, not so much yet. I can tell he doesn't fully "get" this whole sponsorship thing.

I'm trusting that God has great things in store with this trip!

Praying for you,
Kim

Renee said...

I'm here! I've been praying for you as you've been packing up & will do so until you're back in your own bed :) Thanks so much for being both our eyes and our arms this week. Please hug a little sweetie for me?

LKH said...

Ready to go Sister, praying for safety, provision and God's hand in all you and the team will be doing there. May His Spirit shine through you all. Be radiant.

LKH said...

Ready to go sister, praying for God to go before you all and for His Spirit so shine through the team as you all do His work. May He be glorified and may you be radiant.

Peter and Nancy said...

You will be a changed woman because of this trip -- and we will all be cheering you on as you grow to be more like Christ.
Nancy

doo-dah said...

I woke up this morning with a prayer for you and the others going on this trip. May God be glorified in a mighty way!

j sammons said...

Praying for you, the team and your family.
Blessings,
Julie

shana said...

I'm praying for you and for the team and am so excited to read all about it. Blessings on you. On the team. On your family at home. On the precious kiddos you will meet.
Shana

Village Sister said...

Praying for you.♥

Sara said...

Amanda! Will be praying for you! I am weeks away from giving birth to our third baby so your comment made me laugh. :) I'm thankful to rest in the fact that He goes before us!

Darlene R. said...

Praying for you all! Those that are going and those you are leaving at home. Enjoy this experience!

Denice said...

I'll be following and reading your posts everyday! God's blessings on your trip!

Jill Foley said...

I'm praying for you and all the bloggers this week.

Renee said...

I will be praying all week! I know God is going to use each of you in a mighty way!!

Talley Family said...

Praying and be our eyes so we can see! All our love!

Talley Family said...

Praying! Be our eyes so we can see!

Ginger@From The Cocoon said...

I am praying for you!! I am 38 days away from going on my very first mission trip...to Leon, Nicaragua. So, reading about your trip encourages me (and lets me know that some of my nerves is normal).

Look forward to reading all about it!!

ann said...

I'll be here. Love the prayer request list.

nancy said...

I'm SO here for you, sister. I love you so much. You are a hero to me in the faith. Praying, and asking God for much on your behalf in this time.It will be such an adventure! gosh, what a thrill to follow Jesus, huh?!! :) love you!
nancy

Kim said...

Praying for you and looking forward to reading your posts.

Stacy said...

I'll be praying for all of you this week and following the blogs. Looking forward to seeing and hearing all about it!

God Bless!

Sharae said...

I'm here! Go do the thing God has called you to do! Walk it with your feet while we walk it with you in our minds and hearts!

Jesus Chicky said...

Praying! Setting reminders on my cell.

Amy-GA

OntheGloryRoad said...

May you "declare His glory among all nations, His marvelous works among all His peoples. For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised!" 1 Chronicles 16:24-25 Be encouraged and blessed as you walk out His word in power, strength and love. And may he guide you with his counsel along the way. Psalm 73:24

His Jules said...

It will be my joy & privilege to pray for you & all those going with you to Ecuador! Praying that as Our Father stretches you in new places that He will overflow you with His joy & peace. Thank you for stepping out into places that we can only go through your steps!

Lifting you up,
Julie

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Safe Travels! I will be praying.

Taylor said...

Praying for your group, Amanda!! So excited to read all about your trip!

Dionna Sanchez said...

I can't wait to hear about your trip, Amanda. I get pushed out of my comfort zone each time I go on one but am always so glad that I went. I know it will never leave you.

And by the way, I'm a "Days ahead" packer. :) I pack a little at a time. Helps my brain sort things out. I leave my bathroom stuff till last. :)

Shannon said...

Looking forward to reading and praying!

This Is The Day said...

Praying for you guys! Safe travels!

ashleyalden said...

Praying, following, reading...so excited!

Brinkley's Mommy said...

I'm praying for safe travel today. And also, I cannot WAIT for this week's posts, with so many of my favorite bloggers in the same jungle together!

Benae

Kristi said...

Adding you guys to our prayer list this week! I LOVE Compassion and I just know that God is going to use each of you in ways you would never expect...all to HIS glory! I can't wait to hear all about it! I'm excited for you, Amanda. :)

Traci said...

Praying for you and ann too...love you both!!
Thanks for letting us journey with you!
Love~ traci

Traci said...

praying for you and ann too...love you both!! Thanks for letting us come along for the ride :)
Love~ traci

Sandy said...

Praying for you and yours...
Blessings on all of you!

Ruthie said...

I'm here! And I'll be reading all week! Stay encouraged. Looking forward to your posts.

Stephen Jones said...

Praying for your journey. May God overwhelm every moment of it.

Marybeth said...

My prayers are so with u sister!! I am a 6th grade teacher at a Christian school, and we will be following you and learning about Equador. Cannot wait to share with them your experience

Working Mom said...

You and your team will be in my thoughts and prayers this week!

Amy said...

I am here and praying for you, Amanda! :)

Emmy said...

Praying now... and will continue! :)

Katie said...

I'm praying. :)

Cindy Childers said...

Praying for you all the way from England! We love you so much and can't wait to see what God is doing :) Up praying at 6 am (like I read that you've been getting up each day as a young mom like myself trying to fit our Jesus time in) and y'all are first on my heart! Be blessed Amanda and know God's grace is sufficient, his peace is surpassing comprehension and his JOY will flood your hearts as you serve Him. So excited to keep watch with you this week :) Love, Cindy

Cindy Childers said...

Amanda,
....started to pray on my own and felt the Lord nudge me to post what was coming to my heart....
Lord Jesus,
I pray for perfect peace for their trip. I pray that the enemy would not have once ounce of influence over their trip. I pray that perfect health and peace would prevail with the bloggers and their families back home. I thank you Lord that you are going to exercise Amanda's gift in Spanish and bring back to her a triple portion of what words she knows. She will now this gift comes fro you. I pray 1000's would be touched this week by their stories and pictures and would be led to sponsor children in Ecuador. Lord, let that tug at our hearts be the only cue we need to take the step to sponsor these beautiful children. Let us be bold. Let us be confident that we are hearing from you. Lord do more amazing things than this group has even imagined. Do loads of things they hadn't even thought of yet. Let your kingdom come and breath your Holy breathe into this place where they are serving. Thank you Lord for the gift of serving. We would love and invite you to move in a big way in this place. In the name of your precious son, Jesus, we pray. Amen

Pam said...

Praying and following eagerly. Can't wait to hear more -- even when it hurts. Love that you are getting this experience. ; )

Cynda P said...

Praying

Holly B. said...

Praying for the team and the kiddos from France! Lifting up your families, too! Thank you for going, and for sharing how we can help extend God's grace to little ones in need.

Totschies said...

Am praying. for His glory! may he train your hands and fingers as you type, all of you.

sara burrell said...

you GO, girl!! (well, i know you went, cause you're there)

let's not labor the conjugation, shall we not.

prayers are with you, every day,
everywhere you go.

because..... you GO!

Alicia said...

Praying Sister!! Your church family is behind you and supporting you from afar!

Anna said...

Praying in Canada for you.

Please hug and kiss many for us, will you, Amanda?

jennie said...

praying for you today!

Liberty said...

HAve been praying for y'all - and won't stop!
Hope you all feel the strength and power and steadfastenss of the jesus bubbles you're in...
Blessings!

April said...

First of all, I am following your trip to Ecuador and praying for y'all! (I'm even hoping to see a photo of one of our Compassion kids from Ecuador!)

Second, I totally relate to your last-minute packing! I can never pack in advance either!

Have a blessed trip!!

Sarah said...

Can't wait to see/hear what the Lord has in store for you! :)

Tina said...

selfishly hoping for another profound post the likes of last year's "joy" post will come from this trip.

Mariel said...

my boys and I just added two boys from Columbia to sponser through Compassion (Wesly and Pedro)! We have been studying S.America and my boys (ages 8 and 11) said with tears that they want to go there to bring home all the children! I told them we could pray and even provide sponsorship. They hopped on that!! So we now sponser and pray for these two boys. I know you will not be in Columbia (but Equador is nearby!), but my boys and i will be praying for you as we continue to study S.America. We homeschool, so your daily words from Equador will be a great peek into the lives there as we pray. We just learned about Nate, Pete, Roger, Jim and Ed who gave their lives there over 50 years ago in the name of Jesus. What a blessing to peek into the work God is doing there through your eyes. Thank you for sharing your journey!

Mariel

Elizabeth said...

"How beautiful on the Andes mountains and Amazon jungle are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, 'Your God reigns!" Isaiah 52:7
Praying for you sister!

Melanie said...

I'm reading & praying. Just found your blog via the compassion site....look forwaed to browsing thru your posts.
But that's all for now since I'm holding a sleepin baby :)
Melanie in Canada

Kristen said...

Been praying for you throughout the day.

Nikki said...

If you meet Marco Antonio Tapia Melendez, please tell him we said "hi" and we'd love to come meet him personally one day. We've been sponsoring him for several years :)

Shellie Paparazzo said...

Oh, girl, I wish I had read this as soon as you posted it! I'm so excited for you! It sounds like a wonderful (and painful) time. I will try and check in from time to time. Is this one or two weeks? I can't remember! Anyway, enjoy those kiddos!

Sarah Raymond Cunningham said...

Praying for all those things plus smooth sailing through security lines and good sleep on the plane.

lovinlife said...

Silently read your blog and often pass information on to my prayer partners. I know God is up to something big in your life as well as the lives of those little children. Isn't it such a blessing to be a blessing to others! Will be praying.

Candi said...

Following on BabyBangs, LPM blog, and Twitter. After reading Day 1 blogs from Equador, I've decided our family should sponsor a child. Somewhere. Not because we can afford to invest in Compassion's mission, but because we can't afford not to invest in a life. My daughter is 11, and she struggles with hidden disabilities, but we have the means to provide her with everything she needs and a lot that she wants.

We have more than enough to share.

So we will.

I'm praying for you and your team there, Amanda. Count on it.

Alicia said...

These pictures look epic! Praying for you sister!

Cathy said...

I'll pray for you all. I've been sponsoring a little boy in Ecuador for over a year now. If you happen to run into Dennis Mulan, please give him a hug for me.

Sabrina said...

Oh, Amanda! You are so precious. I absolutely adore you and admire you so much for what you are doing. "Do not grow weary in well doing for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up." Gal 6:9 Bless you on your journey. I am praying for you.

Michelle said...

Praying for you and the whole team, blessings,health, saftey, etc. Thank you....