Spring break is almost here! I officially leave for Italy in two days…what? Time went by so fast, I didn’t realize how quickly the trip was approaching until Sunday when one of my friends who is also going asked me if I was excited for this weekend. I honestly hadn’t even thought about how soon it was, which was both a fun surprise but also an added stress. I had so much to do to prepare in just a few days! I’m a very list-oriented person, so I knew I would feel better after making a packing list. After looking through my closet, browsing pinterest tips, and getting advice from people who’ve gone in the past, I’ve finally compiled a complete list of everything I’m going to be taking.
I’m conflicted because I definitely don’t want to overpack and get there with way too many clothing items or a super heavy backpack, but I also don’t want to forget anything, either. The good thing is that apparently there’s a mall and a pharmacy/convenience store not too far from our hotel, so if I end up needed another jacket or forget some toiletries, I’m not completely at a loss. That being said, I tried to think of everything I could possibly need; after all, I’ll be there for about ten days, plus lots of flights and traveling. Am I forgetting anything?
I wanted to share a really cool story about my lead up to the trip. I decided to go a little over a month ago after so many people were telling me how amazing it was. This is a mission trip with my church, and a majority of our time will be spent on an Italian college campus evangelizing to the students there. The past few weeks, I’ve been getting really nervous about the trip. Yes, it’s Italy and it sounds amazing, but I had so many doubts running through my head. I’m the youngest one on the trip and the only high schooler, I don’t know many other people going, I’m a little nervous to share my faith and blatantly talk to the Italians about the gospel, and biggest of all- I hadn’t raised enough money to go. As of Monday, with only 4 days before our flight took off, I still had around $700 dollars to go before I was fully funded. And this was only for the cost of the trip, I was still planning to take a few hundred of my own dollars for food and expenses throughout the next week. I almost didn’t want to go on the trip anymore because that would be a large chunk of money I would be putting towards a trip I was already nervous about. I was actually thinking of backing out.
I had a good talk with my mom about it and she reminded me that I felt the call to go on this trip for a reason. I’d prayed and thought about this trip for a while before deciding, and I could feel the Lord stirring in my heart and giving me the push to say yes. My mom reminded me that if the Lord wants me on this trip, he will make a way, whether that means I spend all of my own money for the rest of the fundraising or not. God has a plan and he is watching over my trip. So for the next week I was praying that the money would be provided and that I would find a way to still go. However, the past two weeks, I only raised about one hundred dollars total in fundraising. I was getting really discouraged and had to keep reminding myself that God had a plan.
Tuesday afternoon was kind of a crazy blur. I had literally just been telling my friend all of my worries about the trip at track practice, and I came home an hour later to a surprise. I had mail waiting for me- almost 600 dollars of support money in one day. That same hour, one of my sweet friends posted on her instagram story about my trip and encouraged people to donate if they felt led. In about two hours, I raised over 100 more dollars from some amazing friends who venmoed me for fundraising. Everything was starting to fall into place, I got more news of another person who said they’d donate, and I couldn’t believe how quickly everything had just changed. I went from so far behind to fully funded in just an afternoon. That is crazy! I couldn’t be more thankful and blessed with the people in my life that helped me raise the money, and I can’t thank the Lord enough for his provision. He truly was watching over me that whole time I was worrying and stressing.
Now, I’m getting so excited for this new adventure and I’m looking forward to see what God has in store for me halfway around the world. Only a few more days until I’m off!