Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Travel Tuesday

I'm starting something new here on the blog. Since I started this little blog with the best of intentions, did well for a while, and then became too busy with other things to ever update it, I've decided to dust it off and pay it more attention. The goal is to ultimately make my own site and maybe even have sponsors so that we can make a little income from it, but we'll see what ends up happening. That being said, I have to have something interesting to post, and it would probably be more successful if I were to update more than 3 times each year. I love writing and have kept a journal for years now; updating more frequently seems like a pretty natural and easy extension of that. That just leaves me needing something interesting to write. So, I thought to myself, "Amy, what are your favorite things?" The top answers ended up being as follows (but in no particular order): family (especially Husband), creating useful/wearable things and homey projects, health and natural medicine, cooking, and being outdoors. That's a pretty wide range of things, but the goal is for it to keep me (and you!) interested.

Now for the something new. Alliteration being a big deal these days, I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and start a Travel Tuesday here on the blog. Each Tuesday (ie each Tuesday that I choose to do this--it may not actually end up being every Tuesday) will be Travel Tuesday where I'll either share stories of someplace I've been or research and then describe a place I hope to one day go. These places may be international, here in the USA, or even here in my same zip code. So, my friends, welcome to my first Travel Tuesday!

This week I'll be describing a place that permanently holds a special place in my heart for it was in this lovely, almost-hidden spot that I spent seven beautiful summers; I even met my amazing husband here! And, since we'll be meeting Husband's family in this favorite spot of mine in just a few days, it seemed fitting to feature it in my first Travel Tuesday.

Highland Retreat: the camp that will always be "mine." I first laid eyes on this camp in March of 2004. I was 16, and my dad had taken me to tour the college that I would later attend. I had also applied for a 2-week volunteer position at Highland Retreat Camp for the coming summer and was invited out that same weekend for an interview. The hour-long drive down 259 in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley was beautiful, but I do remember marveling that a place that far out in the middle of nowhere could thrive the way Highland has. There are mountains in every direction making you feel like you're in a giant bowl with giant trees, purple mountains, and blue skies for sides. A creek runs through the middle of camp where thousands of children have spent countless hours building stick boats and racing them under the cement bridge, catching crayfish, skipping rocks, building dams, and wading. Campfire sites dot the landscape where ever-increasingly confident counselors have cooked camping delicacies like pancakes and banana boats (and trembled with fear of being fired as bacon-grease fires consumed entire breakfasts and threatened to burn down the cabin while the campers cheered, excited by the big, big fire).

The mountain swing at the top of Mt. Everett has thrilled children and adults for generations and frightened even the bravest mamas whose strong-willed children insist on doing flips despite the staff's best efforts to make them impossible. Word to the wise: under-dogs on the mountain swing are a terrible idea, as anyone who ever tries it will admit as they helplessly tumble down the mountain and pray to not end up splattered on the back of Hickory Cabin.

From morning worship to evening fireside, rec time on the big field to capture the flag and counselor hunt, hike day to camp-out night, not a moment spent at Highland Retreat is wasted or boring. So, send your kids there this summer!

Disappointed that you yourself are too old to be a camper? Never fear; Highland has lodging and opportunities for people of all ages. The Youth Camp is at the bottom of the mountain, and at the top of the mountain are Red Oak Lodge and Mountain View Retreat Center. Church groups and families can rent these spaces for their next retreat or reunion. Sign up for the Ropes Course and experience the thrill of the zip line or the Super Swing and learn team building at the numerous low ropes obstacles. Play in the creek. Or, feel like roughing it? Rent one of the several tent or RV sites available. You won't regret it.

Website Here

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

5 Things I Love Today

In an effort to pay a little attention to my deplorably neglected corner of the Internet (and in response to a desperate need to write something but not really having anything interesting about which to write, foreign travels being put on hold for the time being), I decided to copy join up with Hannah and write about a few of my current life favorites. I know what you're thinking: Amy's picking favorites of something? Impossible. But really it's not so hard; I'm not picking one favorite--I get to pick 5!

1) Ultimate Frisbee- Husband and I played this with our youth group Sunday, and I think it's safe to say that we all had a blast. I hadn't played since the last summer I worked at camp, but back in my summer camp employment days we played at least once/week; I'd forgotten how much I love running back and forth across a big open field making clumsy daring swipes at a disc someone has just hurled down said field. I actually really do enjoy playing Ultimate (despite that glamorous description), and I have a feeling that it will become a much more regular part of our lives. :)

2) Maxi Dresses- It took me a long time to get past the name "maxi dress" because it sounded too similar to "maxi pad" which, for whatever reason, I have always associated with elderly women. I realize that isn't necessarily accurate, but, regardless, I finally broke down and, with the help of a friend, made one following this tutorial found on Pinterest. It was love at first wearing. Seriously, they could call them by pretty much any name in any language known to man, and it would still not overcome my love for this dress. I would wear it every day if wearing one article of clothing 7 days a week without washing it was considered socially acceptable by any stretch of the imagination. Since that would give people good reason to question my personal hygiene I guess I'll just have to purchase more fabric and more tank tops and make a rainbow assortment of maxi dresses. Which, now that I mention it, sounds like the better option anyway since further Pinterest research has yielded at least 10 more maxi dress tutorials that I'm impatient to try. Thank you to the many bloggers who are better seamstresses than I for putting step-by-step instructions on the interwebs so that wannabes like myself can, too, wear beautiful, unique, home-made clothing.

3) Day lilies- Lilies have been my favorite flower for a long time, so you can imagine my ecstasy when a few short months after moving into our house, my husband pointed out our back window and said, "Hey, Amy, what's that orange flower over there?" One quick look and much excited jumping around our dining room later, I was able to stop hyperventilating long enough to calmly tell Husband that the flower in question which was being mercilessly choked out by the Ivy Hill of Death in our back yard was, in fact, his wife's favorite flower: a day lily. So, last fall I confidently took our shovel, uprooted that brave little lily, and transplanted it to a place of honor in our front flower garden. In the 8 months since then that dear little clump of grass has multiplied, and our front flower garden has at least 5 day lily clumps which have been blooming gloriously for the last two weeks. I think either this fall or next spring we'll be buying and planting some more day lilies because a girl needs more than just 1 variety of her favorite flower.

4) Where to Go When- This is, hands down, my favorite book. Husband gave it to me for my birthday in 2011, and it goes on pretty much every road trip that we take and sits prominently on our coffee table when we're home. Our globe-trotting being something that only happens for a couple of weeks out of each year (we have plans for this to change dramatically in the very near future; more on that later), this book has allowed me to visit hundreds of fascinating places worldwide in the best month to visit each location without even leaving my living room (or front seat, as the case may be). No, it's not an actual trip, but it is the next best thing because I'd rather vicariously travel the globe through the pages of a book than not at all.

5)Fresh fruit- Fructose be darned, I cannot get enough. It's a good thing there are so many farmer's markets in this area selling their home-grown wares because we are plowing through the fresh fruit in this house! It may only be Husband and me, but we can put away an entire watermelon in two days. I should probably be ashamed of that, but I'm too busy enjoying fresh strawberries with honey-sweetened lemon curd, local peaches, juicy cantaloupe, and other similar summer treats. Maybe it's just me, but summer is the time for fruit. It's too warm out to bake (this is not a complaint in the slightest; if I were doing 6 favorite things, the gloriously hot weather would be the sixth. I know many of my friends joke that I don't really have a winter here in South Carolina, but this past one was more winter than I wanted, and I am so thankful for hot, sunny days), so we turn to fruit to satisfy our sweet tooth. I love it. It's a good thing there are so many delicious, fresh veggies coming from our garden and local farmer's markets because I'd be tempted beyond measure to live solely on fruit until October otherwise.

Hmm, that was fun; maybe I'll do this more often. :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Jeremiah 29:11- “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.’ “

How many of us have read those words and immediately associated them with the cliche and/or overused and misinterpreted? And, how many times should we, instead, have let them remind us that there is One who sees us, loves us, and has dreamed beautiful dreams for us if we’ll only take the time to listen, trust, and obey? If ever I needed to be reminded of this truth and that the Lord still means this for us today it was while planning a recent trip to Tanzania and Kenya.

My husband Kyle and I had been planning this trip since we married in May 2012, but our schedules kept working out so that we had to push it back a little later over and over again. At last, however, we were able to set dates for February 2014. We tentatively planned for February 4-18 with two nights in Istanbul afterwards on the way home. Then, more schedule conflicts came up; we changed the dates. Then, even more schedule conflicts; we changed the dates. Then, schedule conflicts again, so we changed the dates a third time. As it turns out, the third time is not the charm, as schedule conflicts arose for a fourth time, making our new and final trip dates January 26- February 9, 2014---over a month earlier than the third set of dates we had been planning. To say that I was a little stressed with the seemingly constant changes in plans would be a gross understatement. We had had so much confirmation that we were supposed to go back to Tanzania and Kenya; what was going on? God (and Kyle) tried to tell me that the Lord was in all of these date-changes, and I think I accepted that but didn’t let it truly sink in until we were on the plane heading home. Now I see that even the date changes were in God’s plan.

Before I continue, here’s a little background: the City of Hope was our stop for the second half of the trip. Kyle spent 13 months there in 2010 and 2011, and I spent 3 months there that overlapped with Kyle’s 13 months. When we were there before, the childrens’ home and primary school were up and running, but the hospital was still under construction. This time the childrens’ home and primary school have grown, and the hospital is operating as a clinic. There is a doctor and three nurses (one of whom was expecting her second child), and they are doing a great job. There is still a long way to go before the hospital will be fully functional as a hospital, but they have come such a long way and are providing great care.

When Kyle and I arrived at the City of Hope last week, one of the first questions we were asked was if we could stay one more day. We didn’t have to think about our answer for very long before agreeing whole-heartedly. This pushed our leaving date from Wednesday to Thursday, and that extra day at the City of Hope is what I want to focus on since I would have missed it all in each of the first 3 sets of tentative dates.

Wednesday morning dawned a little cloudy, and Kyle and I were planning to work on projects during the kids’ school hours and spend every possible moment with them since it was our last day to do so. Therefore, a few minutes before the kids had their morning chai break you would have found Kyle and me sitting in a gazebo where we would be able to see the children as soon as they came out of the school building. But, it ended up being Dr. Ty who found us rather than the children when he came to tell me that Nurse C had gone into labor and to ask me if I’d like to go with his wife Joi to take her to the nearest district hospital. I’m a maternity nurse, so I jumped at the opportunity. Joi and I ran around shoving things like extra gloves and towels and drinking water into our backpacks and then jumped into the truck, picked up C, and off we went.

We arrived at the hospital around 1030; C was having contractions about every 7 minutes, so we went to help her check in. The check-in room was a small room with three beds against the back wall and a large desk against the front wall. Insects buzzed around the room and crawled on the walls and floor. The first bed was occupied by a woman who was pushing; she was by herself, and it was only when she was crowning that a nurse actually went over to her bed. The middle bed had a mom who had just given birth prior to our arrival; she was being cleaned up by a young man, and her baby was wrapped in a khanga on a table in the corner of the room. C was put on the third bed where they checked her, determined that she was not ready to start pushing, and showed her into the room where she would labor.

This labor room was small and had five cots in it. There was one empty one for C but only because a couple of the other beds were being shared. You see, these are the only 5 beds for laboring moms. If you have 7 laboring moms, too bad for them. Two to a bed it is.

Each woman has to buy a basin to put under her bed for when she needs to use the bathroom, vomit, whatever, so the labor room smells like various bodily fluids. While Joi and I talked and massaged and did our best to make the pain of yet another contraction bearable, C’s sister went to buy a basin. And that is how the day passed. C continued to have contractions every 2-11 minutes; Joi and I massaged her lower back, talked to her, walked with her, held her hand, and tried every trick we knew to help her through her labor, but this was one stubborn little baby!

Late in the afternoon, we were able to take turns going two blocks away to the home of a missionary couple (Liz and Eric, you’re awesome!) where we were able to eat, use the bathroom, and rest for a bit. Shortly after Joi returned from her late lunch break, a nurse came to get C to check her again. While we waited for either C or the nurse to come back, Joi and I discussed our game plan. If C hadn’t progressed (she had been at 5cm all day), we would need to head back to the City of Hope no later than 6pm. We had strict instructions to be home by dark.

Neither C nor the nurse returned, so we knocked on the door of the delivery room and asked if we could say goodbye. In the delivery room, I asked the nurse how far C had dilated; she was still only 6 cm. I noticed that C was also being given IV fluids; I asked if there was any pitocin in the fluids; the nurse said no. So, I said my goodbyes to C, who asked if she could have some rice. It was only about 1750 at this point, so I went off in search of rice. After not being able to find any cooked rice for sale, I went back to get Joi so we could go. When I got back to the labor room, Joi came to the door and told me that C was pushing! I was stunned and so excited! At about 1815, Baby Girl was born. A couple of minutes later, she started crying! We were ecstatic. Until we saw the nurse drain C’s bladder and then hook the same catheter up to suction and use it to suction out Baby Girl’s mouth and nose. Gross. Thinking back over the course of the day, I realized that I had seen the nurses reuse equipment on a couple of other patients, as well.

As happy as we were that everything had turned out so beautifully for C and Baby Girl (who was later named Amy-Joi!), I couldn’t help but be bothered by the way the hospital treated the women in labor. It was like they were sub-human. They were put in dirty rooms on filthy beds alone. Don’t misunderstand me, I do not think that a normal, healthy, low-risk birth requires a hospital, an OB, or even very much medical intervention. Support Mom, and keep her in charge. If she wants to kneel, let her kneel. If she wants to be on her hands and knees, let her go for it. Heck, if she decides that she’s most comfortable standing on her head...well, you get the idea. But to see women who should be excited about the arrival of the human that has been growing inside them for the last 9 months being treated like dirty animals broke my heart. And lit a fire somewhere deep in me to do whatever I can to make sure that the maternity ward at Amani Hospital will be different. It will be better. It will be a place that celebrates the beauty of life and empowers mothers (and fathers, too, God willing!).

Please join Kyle and me in prayer as we figure out what our role is supposed to be in Tanzania. We have a lot of conversations and decisions to have and to make, but I do know that God, for whatever reason, wanted me there the day Amy-Joi was born.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It Is Time

Warning: What you are about to read could very well be fraught with an improper use of the caps-lock button, but just imagine me jumping up and down screaming with joy and excitement, and perhaps it'll be a little less obnoxious. :) 

A little over three years ago, after God not-so-subtly slammed a few Latin American doors in my face, I went to Tanzania. This 10-day-turned-into-three-month trip changed my life, and there is a large and very vocal piece of my heart still residing in East Africa; it will not leave me alone. Kyle and I have discussed going back to East Africa numerous times since his return in June of 2011, but each time we began to tentatively plan a trip something came up that pushed it back a little bit later. Well, Little African Piece of My Heart, IT IS TIME!!!

WE ARE GOING TO TANZANIA IN JUST A FEW SHORT WEEKS!!! I cannot believe that we're finally going back, and, at the same time, I cannot believe that IT TOOK US SO LONG TO FINALLY GO BACK!!! But we are buying plane tickets this week and will be leaving the end of January and coming back mid-February. It will just be a short trip this time, but I know that we will make new connections and visit old friends and forge connections that will possibly lead to future (long-term?) trips. I CAN'T WAIT!!

While I don't think we'll make it to the beautiful Lake Victoria pictured above, we have a wonderful trip planned. We are planning to team up with Dove Christian Fellowship in Nairobi, Kenya to work in the slums for a day or two. You can learn more about their church and ministry here: http://www.dcfi.org We are also planning to visit a ministry in Moshi, Tanzania called Ndoto Yetu. Ndoto Yetu works with local children, has a hospital ministry, and works with families in the area. Here is their website: http://www.ndotoyetu.com And, what trip to Tanzania would be complete without visiting the kiddos who first stole our hearts in 2010 at the City of Hope? The hospital there is now up and running; the school is expanding; the orphanage is full, and I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THEIR BEAUTIFUL FACES AGAIN!!! Live and in person! God is so good! (City of Hope website is here: http://teamworkcityofhope.com) It is time!!!

Each time we go out of the country God reinforces old lessons and teaches us new ones and reminds us that we're supposed to be going in His name to the ends of the earth. Please don't misunderstand, God does this while we're home, too, but it's just...different in an international context, and I'm excited for what God's going to show us this time.

Please, keep us in your prayers. This trip is a long time in the making, and we want to be a blessing to the people we meet. Our prayer is that we'll leave the people and places better off than they were before we visited. Please also pray for health and energy as we'll be quite busy before, during, and after our trip!

 As I mentioned above we will be buying plane tickets this week (week of January 5, 2014). If you would like to support us financially, please feel free to facebook or email Kyle or myself at ledyard.amy@gmail.com or ledyard.k@gmail.com for more information on how to do that.

We will hope to update this at least once or twice while we're gone, so check back later for news. :)

Thank you, Jesus, IT IS TIME!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Different Mexico*

Three years ago God did a miracle in me. Thankfully, He's not been lying dormant since then, but this particular miracle has really been on my mind the last couple of weeks. Three years ago God tore down walls I'd built up to keep Mexico out, and He filled me with love for this beautiful country and the amazing people who live there. So, when the opportunity came to go back, we went. This time I was able to go without any walls, prejudices, or snobberies (that last one is probably closest to the truth), and God showed me yet another view of His Mexico.

Our first stop was just across the border in Matamoros where we hung out with some awesome 11-17 year olds in an orphanage there. The different Mexico God showed me there was a Mexico who has a heart for the Nations. One girl, Luz, wants to be a missionary to India, so, for now, she gleans phrases in Hindi from movies and music and anywhere else she can find them. Another girl, Maria, wants to be a missionary to Africa. We had so much fun teaching these girls a few phrases in Swahili, and they had a blast running around asking their classmates, "Habari gani?"(how are you?). We had another glimpse of this missional Mexico at the end of our trip when we taught a missions class at a Bible School in Monterey. What perfect bookends! It was such an honor to encourage their desire to go!

We saw yet another Mexico when Kyle and I branched off for a night in Mexico City. We visited my host family from 2010, and we were humbled by the radical hospitality they showed us. Mom showered us with wedding gifts of pottery and pan dulce (sweet bread) and showed us so much love and welcoming despite the fact that we haven't seen each other in 3 years. We have a lot to learn about hospitality and loving people from our Mexico brothers and sisters.

Mexico shared her hurting side with us in Cuernavaca where just downhill from the House of Prayer we were able to see a section of town that some would try to hide. We didn't have opportunity to walk down to the valley...this time. We did, however, have the opportunity to hang out in the prayer room with the youth group and with the church that meets at the House of Prayer on Sundays. We were able to encourage them and share a small glimpse of what God sees when he sees them.

In Puebla, we saw another different Mexico, one where her Church is stepping out into leadership. The students at La ViƱa as well as the kids at Esperanza Viva are going to shake up the world. They are strong and brave and joyful, and I know they're going to turn the world upside down. They taught me motivation.

One last different Mexico was in the mountains of Oaxaca where we saw the Mexico from back in the day (and I finally had my desire to sleep in a mud hut satisfied!). El Refugio is a drug rehab compound. The founders, Jose and Ela, have been there for 19 years building this ministry. Ela shared many midwife stories (much to my delight) and gave everyone enough food for thought to last us until our next visit. Time here seemed to move slower, and life felt so peaceful. Our short visit to Oaxaca has given Kyle and me more to dream about, and I have little doubt that we'll visit again.

This seems like such a small tribute to our time in Mexico probably because there are even more "different Mexicos" than I've named here. There are countless more stories, people, places, and lessons to hear, meet, visit, and discover, but I guess they'll have to wait until next time.

Mexico, we'll be back

*This blog title was a phrase Scott stumbled upon as we traveled around Mexico and saw many varying landscapes, lifestyles, and ministry styles; the first time he said "a different Mexico" he also said that that would make a good blog title. So here you have a blog entitled "A Different Mexico." (Scott said I could use it.)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Jehovah Jireh

Sometimes I get worried. This is not new, but the most recent cause of my worry is a new one for me: dollars. Yes, I have at last given in to the pressures of the world and allowed myself to worry about money. Shame on me. The only worry I want to have in regards to money is this: that I should love it too much. If the love of money is the root of all evil I don't want to love it, right? Well, somewhere in switching from full-time to PRN, worry has crept in. It seemed so perfect, this new job. I was going to be doing women's health and high risk maternity. I was going to have the awesome privilege of taking care of women in order to give their little babies a better chance when they enter the world. And, I was going to be doing this at a hospital that is only 20 miles away as opposed to the 60 miles I was driving each way. What could be a more perfect job for me right now? And it started out so well! I was working full time hours and still had the freedom to say, "No, I can't work that day." while doing work that I love. (Hearing those persistent little heart beats and feeling those little kicks against their mama's belly still makes me a little emotional.) But, sometime around the holidays my hours started to drop off. "Hang in there," they said. "It's just because the holidays are so carefully scheduled," they said. But, the hours didn't pick up. I asked my manager about cross-training to some of the other units in my area but was told that there were too many holes on my current units to justify taking me away from them to cross train me. So, I kept at it; one week I worked exactly zero hours. Two weeks I only worked 12. One week I only worked 8. So, I talked to my manager again, and, for a few weeks, the hours picked up. But now they're dwindling again, and the worry has started to sneak its clammy little fingers back into my life. Until this morning when I read the following:

The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers. Those the Lord blesses will possess the land, but those He curses will die. The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing. Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever. Psalms 37:21-27

Boom! That shook my world up a little this morning and made me realize that trap into which I was falling. Jehovah Jireh. The Lord provides. This isn't just some cute VBS song; it's one of God's names! It's part of who He is. He won't let us fall. My job is not our provider. My husband's job is not our provider. The Lord is our provider, and in that we have the freedom to answer when He calls. So, until I"m told otherwise, I'll keep loving my pregnant ladies because that's where God has me even if it's only 4 hours at a time. And we'll go to Mexico in a couple of weeks and love people there because that's what God has told us to do, and God will provide. And, when a need creeps up, we'll give however we can because God will provide. And, if I get more hours at work, I'll count it a blessing because God will provide. But, if I don't, I'll joyfully be here, making our home a happy, healthy one because God will provide.

We've been told that He's opening new doors in our lives, and we're starting to see what some of that is, and we're excited about it. I think it's time to take another leap of faith (or maybe a baby step) in which I stop leaning on my job to be our provider and start letting God take us in whatever direction He has in mind. After all, this is who we're following:        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvejyvnEidY

(Important note to Mom and potential reporters to Mom, I am NOT quitting my job, and neither is Kyle, so calm your fears. :))

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Big Year, Part 1

Somehow the New Year came and went without a blog post from me....

2013 seems like such a big number! And it's looking like this year could hold a lot for the Kyle Ledyards. We've now been married a little over 8 months, and it has been the best first 8 months of marriage a girl could ask for. It's so different from what I was expecting but so much better than what I was expecting that I don't even remember what I was expecting in the first place! I'm so blessed and excited to spend my life with the most wonderful man I know.

We have a lot of hopes and dreams and visions and plans for this year, and God just keeps growing those. Our prayer is always that He'll bring us closer to Him and to each other and that He'll use us to be a blessing to others where ever we are, but, as I've mentioned before, sometimes I have struggles with spending too much time in this lovely country of ours. Part of it is restlessness: I know that Kyle and I are supposed to go all over the world, so it's hard to stay here. I don't want to get so comfortable in our life here that we stop looking for opportunities to serve and love the abused and unloved all over the world and start looking for excuses to stay in our nice community. But part of it is also choosing to be blind to the fact that God can and does use us here, too. So, in the last year while we stayed in the United States, we've been doing our best to love the people around us and make the most of our time here. And it's been awesome. We've learned a lot and have a lot more to learn, and we're excited about this. But, it's also time for the restlessness to get a little attention.

Kyle and I have been invited to be part of a team going to Mexico in March! We'll be gone for about two weeks, and the trip will look a little something like this (as far as we know at this time--details are subject to change, but the stops are confirmed):

We'll be making stops in Monterrey, Mexico City, Cuernavaca, Puebla, and Oaxaca and will be hanging out with missionaries who are serving long-term in each of these locations as well as visiting a ministry base, a school of ministry, an orphanage, a house of prayer, and a drug rehab center. We would really appreciate your prayers as we go. If you would like to contribute financially to our trip, please contact us for those details as posting our address on a blog seems like a rather foolish thing to do. :)

We have many other plans and dreams for the year, as well, but this is the one that is currently taking up the most excitement in my life. I've already been listening to my Spanish music on the way to work and doing other little activities to brush up on my Spanish language; I've contacted my Mexico host family from 2010 and will hopefully be able to see them while we're in town; we're praying for guidance and provision and safety in this and are excited to see what happens.

Updates to come!