Tomorrow is my 24th birthday.
To be honest, this number has always kind of freaked me out. I was born on my mom’s 24th birthday, 24 years ago. I really love a band from San Diego called Switchfoot, and they have this song called 24 that Jon said he wrote when he was 24 years old and broke his leg while skateboarding and trying to impress a girl. One time I went to their show in St. Louis and was talking to him after the show. I was driving to Kansas city the next day to see them play there too, and he asked what song we’d like to see them play at the show. We said 24. The next day they played it for us, really pretty, and with an accordion. I love accordions. I used to listen to that song, as a teenager, and think about how much time in life I still had. I always thought something really awesome should happen during this year of my life. Yikes.
So what is going on in my life this year?
A lot of things that are tedious. A lot of sitting in front of my computer. A lot of making calls to strangers. A lot of things that are calling me to face my fears.
I’m in grad school; International Relations at Webster University. But that doesn’t scare me.
I have a job, and that’s fine.
I’m working to help launch a ministry in Sub Saharan Africa. In the slums of Nairobi Kenya. Am I afraid of going there? Not at all. I love being there.
Right now, though, I’m having to trust in God’s provision more than I have ever experienced in my life. I am having to make phone calls to strangers and invite them into the mission and vision that has been entrusted to me. I am having to raise support. This is what is terrifying for me. In a lot of areas of life, I am crazy and afraid of nothing. When it comes to this, though, I am incredibly self conscious and full of anxiety. I hope this year is full of mountain climbing and ocean diving (literally), but this is what I’m facing most days. This year is about learning to trust and to do what I truly am afraid to do.
I was trying to have a fundraising dinner for my birthday, but I couldn’t get a venue in time. Instead, I’m just going to give you this donation link for now – – – http://www.underthesametree.com/#!donate/clg6
What exactly am I fundraising for? Well, we are working in the slums of Nairobi to provide holistic care for 10 families so far. We are beginning with a combination of food supplements and micro-loans. We are training parents to start their own small businesses so that they are able to earn a sustainable income to support their families. This is exactly where any money I raise right now is going. You can meet the families here.
And because it’s my birthday, I don’t feel bad about asking you to tell absolutely everyone you know about this. Get them to like our Facbook page. Get them to sign up for our email list. Ask them to get us in contact with their churches, their college groups, etc etc etc. Please, I really need to be connected with all of your social circles. Plus, it enables me to make some great new friends along the way, that that’s always good anyways.
So… what else is happening this year?
Oh yeah, David and I are going to become homeless. Hopefully.
We live in a little apartment with no internet and almost no running water. We are trying to be frugal in the extreme. As soon as it warms up outside, we have decided we’re just going to live out there. We’re going to let our lease end, and live out of a tent at various Stl campgrounds. For how long? We don’t know yet. We still have some time to keep planning, because it keeps snowing, and seems to never stop. We’ll see what happens.
Here’s a little look back on year 23:
Construction began on the St. Louis arch on 2/12
The Atlantic Charter that would eventually end European colonialism was signed on 2/12
And Nelson Mandela walked out of prison the day before I was born.