Bolivia Bound

In 24 hours, we will be Bolivia bound, sipping on ginger ale 30,000 feet up in the sky.

We are officially hours away with the countdown.  I feel like I should have so much to say and so much to do but I’m kind of at a loss for words about everything.  I just feel ready.  What I do have to say is that Alita and I are so at peace about our trip.

Don’t be misled, two weeks ago I was close to panic-mode.  Okay, maybe I was in panic-mode.  Our plans were not coming together, I had a minor heart attack after finding out that I may need a visa, and insecurities began taking their toll.

I am so completely under-qualified to be taking on a project this big.

This is a big deal… maybe I’m not taking this as seriously as I should.

Maybe this is not for me.  None of our plans are coming together.

After fighting with all of these thoughts for a few days, I decided to bring it to God, ya know, the one who controls everything!  And He started confirming His sovereignty over this trip.

Yes, true.  I am under-qualified.  Yes, true.  This is a big project and way too big for Alexis and I to do on our own.  But this is God we are talking about.  He is so big and this is His project and not mine or Alexis’.  Our role is to follow Him.

It is so easy to get distracted and get ahead of ourselves and try to push things to happen in the way that we believe things should happen.  It only seems right to have a plan, a schedule for everything.  And although a plan is good and helps to prepare for the future, it is so important to know that although we plan, God is the one who is in control.

The picture above is from the prayer + worship night we had for the trip.  It was such a good night of fellowship with our friends and a moment to get back to the basics of why we’re doing this project.

A dear friend of mine led us in worship and, after opening in prayer, we began to sing songs to the One who has really been leading this project.  I love singing to God.  There is something so intimate and special about closing your eyes and reveling in all of His goodness.  It is eye-opening and humbling.

I think back and see how selfish I have been in the past.  In the past?  I am selfish now.  I think of myself more often than I would like to admit.  I want things and believe I need things that are luxuries to most of the world.  I buy things I don’t need and I spend time doing things to become successful by the world’s terms of success.  It is easy to get swept up into the business of this project.  We can do all we can to network and plan things out.  Though, God keeps showing us that He is in charge and this process has been life-changing, perspective-shifting for both Alexis and I.

While in Bolivia, Alita and I will observe the land where the shelter will be built, meet with the architect and build relationships with people in the community.  The project is moving forward.  Pittsburgh is amazing with its community of visionaries and individuals who want to help others.  I’ve put on my forced-extrovert face and mentors have pushed me farther outside of my comfort zone than ever before.  The combination of Alita and my passion with other’s passion for community development and philanthropic dreams is inspiring.  It is an incredible force that is moving this project closer to reality.

Of course, there are challenges present. I tell people about this project and see them lose focus after saying that it is in Bolivia.

Me: We’re working to build a temporary shelter for children in La Paz, Bolivia.

I can see their minds wandering, trying to picture a map, recollecting memories from past geography classes.

People: Oh… that’s cool.

A few ask immediately.

People: Wait, where is Bolivia?

But many wait until we are invested in conversation about the mission of the project.

I can’t deny the overwhelming thought that maybe this is too big for me and the idea of developing a nonprofit organization – yikes.  And, frankly, most people believe Bolivia is somewhere in Europe.  But it’s such a great feeling to know that we’re not in control.  Although we have to take steps to develop this project, God is the one who is perfectly orchestrating the whole thing.

So it had to be Bolivia.  No, not in Europe, it is a little country in the heart of South America, rich with culture and quinoa.  It is also a third world country where many live in extreme poverty.  And, with God’s wonderful planning, it is also the country where Alita and I will soon begin our journey towards building a temporary shelter for children to play, grow and learn.

I am at a greater peace than I can even explain.  God has it.  This is not about me.  This is not about Alexis.  This is about something so, so much bigger than either of us.  This project is bringing people together for fellowship.  It is bringing us closer to Christ.  It is showing Alexis and I, and so many others that God is ultimately in control and that kind of power is something so beautiful and so incredible, there are no words to even describe it.Iphone

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