I had a wonderful childhood! I wouldn’t mind reliving summer evenings of playing kickball after dinner, riding my bike to the local swimming pool, special moments with cousins and playing make-believe.
However, I never desired to relive my childhood vaccinations! Unfortunately, many stem-cell transplant patients have to just that. All of the immunities I once had were wiped out in the process. My final vaccine was for measles, mumps and rubella. Most transplant patients must wait two years before receiving this vaccine because it’s a live vaccine. I received mine last Wednesday! Yay!!
why does this matter?
Now that I’m vaccinated, I can travel outside of the United States. My first stop: Europe!
I’m ready for another adventure and have been invited to help with the Greater Europe Mission women’s retreat in Caisis, Portugal in November. This retreat is for women currently serving with GEM. It’s an opportunity for them to step aside from a busy and demanding schedule on the mission-field and be refreshed, recharged and ready to return and live out Christ’s love.
If you’ve followed this blog long, you may remember the Italy retreat I went on during my last five weeks in Europe before moving back to the States. This is a similar retreat. There were so many tools I used from that retreat, helping me through times of isolation and stressful moments. I don’t want to spoil anything for those who may attend. I’m excited for the opportunity to serve these women who wear many hats in the process of sharing Christ overseas.
can’t wait to see them!
While this opportunity is in Portugal, I’ve coordinated my trip there through Vienna. I’m taking personal time to visit my Vienna, Austria “family.” When I think about seeing them again, these verses from Philippians come to mind: “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns…God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:3-6, 8).
I’ve had the opportunity to visit many of you who read this blog. You’ve seen me post-transplant, and we’ve celebrated together. My Austrian family hasn’t seen me for two years. So, I’m thrilled to visit, celebrate, hug and encourage them.
three ways you can join me
1. Pray — “…The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16b). Would you join me in praying for this retreat that takes place October 31- November 4? Pray for safety, open hearts, for both the organizers and the attendees and all will leave Portugal rejuvenated in Christ’s strength and confident of who they are in Him. Pray for my time in Vienna following the retreat, for sweet conversations and intentional moments with those I see there.
2. Give — Traveling overseas to help with a retreat does involve a financial cost. Would you consider a one-time gift toward this opportunity? The total cost for the retreat (flight to/from Portugal from Vienna, hotel accommodations, meals, etc.) = approximately $1000.
Here is the link to my GEM online giving site; all gifts are tax-deductible:
3. Provide a resource — Finally, I’m hoping to bless the ladies on the retreat with a special surprise. Each resource costs approximately $15-20. Would you want to bless a woman on the retreat by donating the funds for one of these resources? If this piques your curiosity, please comment below, and I will contact you with the details!
I don’t know where this blog post finds you today; maybe your expression is much like four-year-old me in the picture. Maybe you’re reliving something unpleasant. Whatever situation you find yourself in know that I’m praying Philippians 1:3-6, 8 for you too!! You’re loved, and a masterpiece created by God! What HE started HE will finish! To Him be all the glory! Amen!
Have a great Monday!