It's been a bit crazy around here...first trying to prepare for a trip abroad and now trying to recover from the trip! It was such an honor to be invited to teach at the IMR (International Missionary Retreat) which was held in Pamukkale, Turkey this year.
For those of you who know me, you know the struggle that I have dealt with and the guilt that I have felt over the years about leaving the classroom as a public school teacher, which I traded in for a job at No. 9257...I now proudly serve my family here at home. BUT...it was a difficult decision to make because I knew that I was called to the field of education as a 3rd grade student. My struggle lies in knowing that I was called to teach, but choosing to be a stay at home mom and Nana D instead. So...when opportunities such as this arise, I find that it fills that guilt that I feel that I am not using my gifts, talents and ultimate calling on my life.
It was clear that God had plans for me to attend this Retreat because He had been convicting me to consider a trip abroad if the opportunity presented itself. About 3 months later I was approached about teaching in a VBS at the IMR in Turkey. Without much hesitation, I told our missionaries on staff that I had already been burdened about a trip such as this, but would pray about it.
Our Staff Missionaries
My biggest challenge was to raise the funds in order to go. Remember...I am a stay at home mom with an income of...$0. So, paying for the trip was a huge hurdle to jump! Of course, my hubby would have helped to fund the trip, but I felt burdened about raising the money on my own without having to dip into our own spending accounts.
After much prayer and consideration, the fund raiser really presented itself on it's own.
I had recently attended the wedding of a former student and made them an establishment board as a gift.
Once I posted that on facebook, others saw it and wanted to order one...and so, the fund raising began. Orders came in by the dozens and at times I hired my 13 year old and daughter-in-love to come to my rescue and do a little prepping and painting for me.
Within 5 weeks I had raised the $2200 needed for the airfare and hotel stay. It was almost too easy to raise the funds...that was the moment that I realized that God, indeed, was honoring my choice to say "yes" to the trip. God is AMAZING and I stand in awe of what HE does when my faith doesn't always believe. This was one of those opportunities where I was able to see God's hand clearly guide the efforts of this trip. Why do I doubt Him??? Well...because I am a doubter...sinful and lack the firm faith that God begs us to embrace.
Needless to say, not only did God provide for the trip, He also allowed DB Décor to thrive and continues to be a small source of income for our family :) Hubby likes that!!!
Oh, and DB Décor went from this:
A small, but workable, closet... To a big new workspace ...
Hubby got tired of coming home to this...
But now comes home to this...
So, for those that invested in my trip (and others), I wanted to share a few of the experiences while there in Istanbul, Izmir, and Pamukkale, Turkey...
3 day VBS
We had LOADS of fun!
Their sweet families have become more than just friends...I adore each and every one of them and admire their faith and obdedience in stepping out onto foreign soil for the chance to win souls for Christ...brave, courageous, selfless servants ~ beyond impressed by their faithfulness.
Love the fellowshipping with each and everyone of these dear friends.
So glad that I got to see some "old" friends again! =)
While there, we also were able to do some sight seeing...
Ahhhh! So beautiful...
I must admit...everything I saw was beyond interesting, but some of the ruins starting looking all the same to me. Wish I could have picked up a few of the columns and brought them home with me though! So much to see in such little time, but thankful that we squeezed a few sights in between meeting times!
Of course, you can't go anywhere without checking out the shops...so off we went. I wasn't in search of anything in particular...just taking it all in. But I found some hand painted ceramic numbers that I thought would be the perfect bit of whimsy to put on my small front porch. I couldn't wait to get home and start on the project. In the meantime, I found a beautiful hand painted bowl that I had no plans to purchase because it was so expensive. But after chatting a bit, we settled on a price that I thought I could afford. Sadly...the bowl didn't make it home in one piece. Upon opening my package and discovering the broken pieces, tears welled up in my eyes.
Then I remembered that it was just a "thing" and didn't compare to my injured toe that I came home with :( I know...yuck!
All because this is one clumsy girl and stubbed it on a bed...I think the 6th floor of the hotel may have heard the loud "thud!"
My sweet companions on the trip made sure that I was taken care of with pain medicine, water and an adorable sunshine cookie...sure lifted my spirits at just the right time!
All too quickly, things were put back into perspective again! With some E6000 glue, the bowl was pieced back together again.
I won't be serving spaghetti out of it, but it sure looks pretty displayed in my dining room!
Needless to say, I didn't get to shop as much as I wanted because of my stinkin' throbbing toe, but I was able to pick up some hand painted ceramic numbers.
My wheels were spinning with a project for them...
I had just the project in mind...house numbers for my little front porch! Using a painted wooden board, I glued the tiles on with E6000. Let them dry overnight, put a hanger on and hang out for all to see...
My new house number plaque is on my little front porch to welcome guests...hope some of my new friends get a chance to stop by for a stay sometime!
For those of you who helped in fund raising for this trip...I would like to thank you for being so gracious to shop DB Décor.
Today, I am thankful and blessed for those who allowed this trip to be possible for me. Blessings to you all!