Today is finally here: the day to send my middle child off to Africa. I knew this day was coming, and we had been mentally preparing (I thought, anyway) for the trip. I wasn't necessarily nervous about her leaving. I know she's in good hands, and she's not going there alone. She's one of 13 students and there are 3 adult leaders going with them. One of the leaders lived in Kijabe, Kenya (the place where this mission group is heading) for about 7 years, so I'm pretty comfortable sending her off. However, last Sunday, when the group stood up in front of church so we could "send them off" with prayer, it hit me: I AM SENDING MY CHILD TO AFRICA!!!! Oh my goodness! What was I thinking?!? I won't know what she's doing, where she is at any given moment, and I certainly won't know who she's with. Of course, she'll be with her mission team, but I don't know who she'll be with.
So today, the team met up at church with their 50 lb bags all packed, every nook and cranny of those 2 suitcases filled with either clothes or medical supplies for the infirmary in Kijabe. Those kids looked so excited! The youth leader invited us all into the gym where the parents literally surrounded this group of 16 with prayer. The senior citizen Bible study group also came in and prayed with us which was so nice. Then, before I knew it, the kids were all packed into the church vans and headed for Chicago, where they will take their verrrrrry long flight to Nairobi. They should be arriving in Kijabe, Kenya about 28 hours after leaving our town. That's a long trip! There were tears from some of the parents, (even siblings) and I admit I got a little teary-eyed while we were praying for this team. Jeremiah 29:11 kept running through my head: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to give you a hope, and a future." Those words have been a great comfort to me many times throughout my life and were a comfort to me today as well. I know she'll be fine. I know she'll thoroughly enjoy this trip and enjoy making friends with this diverse group of students she's with. I know all of this. And it fills me with pride and joy that she's going on this trip. I just want to know what she's doing and who she's with!!!! This must be part of the separation process. : )
Before she left this morning, she wasn't feeling well and I thought it was just a case of nerves. But this afternoon, her older sister is sick on the couch with the stomach flu. So NOW I'm all concerned that DD#2 is on a plane, puking into a bag. Oh dear. I certainly hope not. And there's no way for me to know either. There'll be no communication except for occasional updates on Facebook. I hope I survive this trip!