But even though this trip has been much anticipated, the process has not been easy. This is partly because Lauren is our first child - she's the first one to venture off on her own. And then there's little thing called "recent airplane crashes". Even though air travel is still one of the safest forms of transportation (MUCH safer than road travel here!), it still takes an act of faith to let go and to trust God with my girl. Because I know that trusting Him doesn't mean that nothing bad will happen to her, but rather it means that I have to come to terms with the fact that He will be with her in whatever she has to go through.
|Megann wasn't in the mood for an airport good-bye|
And yet, through all of this, there are these little glimpses of hope - that God sees us, that He knows us, and that He will provide everything we need. A few weeks ago, Lauren and I got sidetracked by looking through some pictures from before we moved overseas, as she was preparing a fundraising page for her trip expenses. Our last three years in Idaho were spent on the campus of NNU in the freshman boys' dorm, and one night several girls from the neighboring dorm put on a Princess Party for Lauren and Brenna. All of the girls dressed up and they did "princessy" activites all night. We had a fun time reminiscing about several of the girls who had made Lauren feel so special that night.
|Princess Party Flashback - 2006?|
|So thankful for these sweet reminders!|
Then, just last week, we heard from Ryan's sister that a friend of theirs was also traveling to the retreat, and would be bringing a few little gifts for the girls with him. And we received a message from a cousin saying that another couple who were going to be flying over for the retreat were youth workers from his church. When we shared Lauren's fundraising page on Facebook, donations came in from family and friends all over the world - including another one of those girls who had been at the Princess Party. Lauren was able to raise more than enough money to pay for her portion of the trip, and was even able to use the excess to help defray the costs for some of the other students. We feel honored and humbled, and so very grateful!
*** As I wrap up this post, Lauren is safely in Singapore. Please continue to keep all of us, but especially her, in your prayers this week.