It is Monday night and work is finished, my kids have been hugged tight and are now sleeping soundly, I have packed my case and I have those last minute butterflies in my tummy. I'm wondering what I have forgotten to do and to pack.
Tomorrow my lovely dh will drive me down to Heathrow and drop me off at a budget hotel to share a room with my travel companion Ruth from OCC. As we have dinner we'll talk about the live webcasts that I'll be involved with later in the week. Then on Wednesday morning very early we will be joined by our official photographer Jonty and we'll all head to the airport for a 4am check-in. There we will board a plane for Vienna and a quick change over to our next plane to Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
If I am honest my heart is in my throat. Today at work people have commented how calm I am, yesterday at Church people asked if I was excited and I informed them, that until work and the kids were dealt with I could not even begin to think about this journey I'm about to embark on. But now I have the space and time to think I realise that I am ill prepared, my knowledge about Belarus as a country is limited, I have not learnt any local words, I do not even know if I have the right plug adaptor to be able to use my laptop over there.
I am anxious for this journey - I am the only blogger going, so many people seem to have negative things to say about Samaritan's Purse, I worry that I will stumble and be clumsy trying to play with and interact with the children when we do not speak the same language and I am convinced I have forgotten to pack something fundamental.
Thank the Lord that I can turn these worries over to Him. I know what a blessing it is to be a Christian, I have seen how my life has changed since I made the commitment over 10 years ago and in the last year alone I have watched a miracle as anothers life has truly been saved by grace.
I will be completely honest when I report back on here about what I see and experience when I am in Belarus but I'll make no apologies for being a Christian women, travelling with a Christian organisation to deliver messages of hope to children and families who really need to believe that things can change and be better for them. Unless you are a Christian yourself and start to experience how amazing it is to be loved unconditionally and forgiven for all the wrong that you do, perhaps you'll never understand why I think it is so important to be able to spread the good news that Jesus died for us and He wants a deep and personal relationship with every one of us.
Relationship is the key, God has no desire for me to follow a set of rules and to be seen to be part of an organised Religion. He just wishes to bless all His children and to spend time in fellowship with them.
I have seen the draft itinerary for this journey and it looks exciting with visits to schools, churches, social projects and residential areas. There will even be a small amount of time for me to be able to experience the culture of Minsk. On Friday 7th December at 12 noon GMT and Sunday 9th December at 12.30pm GMT we will be broadcasting live on the Samaritans Purse YouTube channel as we distribute some shoeboxs to children. Please do sign up HERE to receive the full information on how you can watch the live webcast. Join with me to pray the technology works and it all goes well.
And I'd really appreciate your prayers for this adventure that I am about to take. Pray that I have the courage, words and obedience to do what I am supposed to do - whatever that may be. After all my prayers always include 'Your will be done' and who am I to try and dictate?
Don't foget there is still time to make a shoebox online if you would like to send a gift to a needy child. Visit ShoeBox World today and make up a gift from as little as £12.60.
Disclosure: I am traveling to Belarus as a guest of Samaritans Purse to experience shoe box distribution and to collect stories from the children we meet.