Ok, I know its female Friday and Stephen is in charge of blogging, but he is submitting to India and my trip. He is coping with the reality that he has 9 days with 3 hormonal females all under the age 15 years old. Yes, pray for him.
As far as my preparations, I have such mixed emotions today. Leaving my kids and my husband always feels like my stability is being tampered with. Grace came into my room this morning, hugged me and said, “I don’t want you to go”. I am dreading the goodbyes but excited for my trip. It’s making me a little schizoid.
Last year was a rough year on my family. I was working full time at Shared Hope International, an organization that helps rescue and restore women and children in sex trafficking, and I was travelling frequently. In fact last July I traveled with Shared Hope to India. Though the cause was great and my work seemed important, the reality was my world was growing apart from my family. Stephen was traveling as well. Oh the guilt I felt each time I had to leave my family. I finally quit my job in December because I realized there are many people that can work at Shared Hope, but nobody else can be the mother to my children. Financially it hurt but we made the cutbacks on spending and we have survived. Our family is much happier now.
This trip is different than my travels last year. I have been home with the kid’s everyday since early December. It has been a time to reconnect to my kids so I don’t feel guilty leaving for India. Second, it’s just good to dive back into the ministry of Compassion. It is where my heart is and Compassion has been so important to my family for 15 years. My whole family just got back from Kenya on a trip with Compassion, and my kids are all about getting kids sponsored. They have commissioned me to go with the blog team, even though they are sad I will be away. Finally, it is awesome to know that after this trip I will be able to be home again. I will be able to just be a mom and wife again. It makes saying goodbye ok.
Others on the trip, especially the moms, are going through the same stuff. Read Angie’s blog today. She lost a baby last year so leaving her family is definitely heart wrenching. My husband lost his dad a month before his first trip to India. It was incredibly difficult for him to leave during that time and with all the tragedy, he was convinced he might die. Leaving family during the best of times is hard so leaving family after tragedy is HUGE. Pray for Angie!
The blog team has had some funny emails passed around as we all are preparing for the trip. These people are incredibly creative. I look forward to hanging with this group and traveling to an amazing country. But what truly makes this trip most appealing and exciting for me is the fact that kids will be sponsored and lives will be changed forever. It’s a kingdom building trip. Sure its only 9 days but the eternal aspects of this trip is so exciting, not only for the bloggers but for all the kids that get sponsored through this blogging trip. I adore the ministry of Compassion International. I am excited that others will witness this amazing ministry and how it impacts children and I am excited to blog my own stories. It all makes saying goodbye a little easier.
Check out the entire blog team going to India at : http://compassionbloggers.com/trips/2009-india
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I can’t tell you how many days into reading the Compassion India bloggers trip it was before I realized you are Shared Hope Patricia. I am such a goof. Yup – there was your picture AND your name and it STILL took me reading your post to realize you are the Patricia Jones I know. Of course, reading THIS post explains why I haven’t heard back from you on the emails I’ve sent to Shared Hope. Good to “see” you again. The India trip posts were amazing – I’m still trying to read through them all. I can only read one every few days, the emotions they bring up are a bit much to try to handle when I’m at work. I’m still volunteering/working in human trafficking and I have to tell you – I am thrilled with the direction God has taken you but I miss you oh so terribly at Shared Hope. You were a great touchstone for me there and now that I know you’re not answering my emails because you aren’t getting them anymore, I’m going to have to call and figure out who to talk to down there! 🙂 Thank you for everything you always did for me. I’m not sure I can say that enough. It has been how many months since that dinner in Bellevue and the group I brought with me for breakfast with Linda STILL thank me for that. In just that one meeting, you did more to galvanize those of us “up north” than you can possibly imagine. I’ve saved your blog in my favorites – I’ll check in from time to time, it’ll be good to read where God takes you from here. Blessings!!!