How do you prepare a teenager to see a world she has never seen before?
Of course there are the practical things.
Finding a local place that accepts a passport application.
Learning that we would have to send off for an original birth certificate (that we never needed before) from the state we don't live in anymore.
Figuring out all the documentation necessary to apply for a visa necessary for entry into the country.
Sending the brand new passport and original birth certificate back to Washington, D.C with lots of prayer that it returns in time for the trip.
Researching and praying about all the recommended vaccinations.
Deciding what she would and would not receive.
Finding the local health department that gives the mandatory yellow fever vaccination along with documentation that is necessary to enter the country.
He did several training sessions with all the team members as well as for the family members.
We were able to learn some songs in the Twe (Tree) language, as well as sample some of the food typically served in that region.
We learned about malaria and the different medications available to prevent it.
We learned about the appropriate clothing to wear in a culture that is predominately muslim.
He also taught us how the people there worship many gods and often view Jesus Christ simply as another god to worship.
Lexi also spent a couple days in Child Evanglism seminars and learned how to do these:
Then, of course, there was the physical packing:
She needed bedding.
And craft supplies for VBS.
And American OTC remedies for bodily upsets.
And bug spray....
And lots of sunscreen.....
because she is a ginger.
Clothes....for 15 days....with no guarantee of laundry facilities.
And anti-bacterial wipes.....
for Mom's sake.
But was it all enough?
How do you prepare your child to see the world...through the eyes of the Loving Father who created it?
To feel His heartbeat for those souls who may never hear of His work completed on the cross that they might spend eternity with Him.
To see past poverty....
To see what our God sees?
That we all depend on that next breath, and sleep, and a little nourishment.
And that often what seems to widen the gap between us is what actually draws us very near to each other.......that gnawing void in each and every human, no matter what color or country native we are.
That need for Jesus.