Bonjour, Hello, Buenos Dias, whatever hello is in Dutch – these are just some of the greetings I’ve received during my first day on the ship. With 40 different nations represented on board I’ve got no doubt that I’ll be learning a lot more greetings before this is finished.
First off I’d like to thank everyone who donated to help me get here. When I began asking for money I wasn’t expecting much. Maybe a few fivers from friends, a 20 or two from family… honestly I thought I’d have to take out a loan from ‘bank of my parents’. But then the amazing happened. People began to rush forward to help. People I hadn’t talked to in years (and many I’d never even met) pledged their money and their prayers! I was astounded. I had no idea that so many people believed in me enough to actually give me money to go out into the world.
Let me quickly tell you about the first donation I received. She was a random traveller from Vancouver who was crashing on my couch in Kelowna. We had met on a site that hooks up travellers with local hosts and had known each other for about 2 days. She was a christian girl and she was very excited for me when I told her that I had just been accepted onboard the Mercy Ship. She also sympathized with me when I shared my laments about having to ask people for money. However she had done her own share of missions trips and assured me that I would be surprised by the people who would support me.
Fast forward to her last day in town. On her way out of my apartment she handed me an unmarked envelope, instructing me not to open it until she’d left. She told me that it was just a bit of money and that she believed in me and that she wanted to bless me. I was touched. She had been in my life all of three days and she wanted to give me money for my trip. She didn’t feel at all obligated, I hadn’t asked her, she just felt that it was the right thing to do. I gratefully accepted the envelope and we said goodbye. Then I opened up the envelope and saw that she had donated over 100 dollars! I was floored! This girl is a student who spends most of her time abroad on missions trips, I know for a fact that money of that calibre is precious to her. And here she was pledging her money to me. Incredible. And you know what? Each time someone comes forward and hands me cash, or donates online, or writes a cheque… each time I’m equally amazed. You guys are awesome.
I’m happy to say that I’ve been pledged all the money that I need for the entire trip. I’m equally grateful to everyone who helped. There were students and families who I know don’t have the extra cash to send me to Africa. There were some people who absolutely blew me away with the amount of their donation. And then there was everyone else in between. I just want to say thank you. I’ve sent out thank you messages to everyone individually (if I didn’t I’m super sorry and I want to hear from you!) but I thought I’d let everyone know how incredible it is to be on the receiving end. I know that I’ll be contributing to the next fellow who comes up to me with news they are being called out into the world.
I just wanted to say thank you once again. I feel so amazingly blessed to have all of you in my life. I meant this to be pertaining to my first day on the ship but I suppose that will have to be the next post.