día ocho: Today I am thankful for the travels I have been able to experience, as well as the travels I will experience in the future.Dear God, today I want to first thank You for giving me a passion for seeing the world. I am so captivated in thoughts about living the lives of different cultures & really seeing how they work. It is incredible to me to think about how insanely diverse this planet is. God, I thank You again for having kept me a resident of Virginia... that has helped me develop such a curiosity to see other places. Thank You, God, for allowing me to travel as much as I have so far. Through my travels I've seen many more examples of Your beautiful creations. Thank You for relaxing & fun vacations, all the way down the east coast, all the way up the east coast, in Canada, & in the Caribbean. You have blessed my family by allowing us to take vacations and escape our regular lives for a while. We really enjoyed each one of those. So many people don't get breaks from work or necessary funds to travel... so thank You, God, for making those possible.
The next trip I want to thank You for seemed like a vacation, but it was also so much more. Thank You, Father, for sending me to Spain for a month this past summer. It is a huge blessing for me to be able to go. Thank You for the study abroad experience! You made it so that I became really close with some people on the trip... thank You for those connections & all the connections I had with the others on the trip. Lord, bless Kevin & Belkys. They did such an amazing job planning, coordinating, & leading the trip. Thank You for their desire to show us their hometown and teach us about its culture. You have made Tarragona to be such a unique part of Spain, rich in the Catalán culture and Mediterranean life. Thank You for all the travelling we did while on the trip, as well, to different parts of Spain and to the city in France. The world You created is beautiful; please help us take care of it appropriately. Thank You for everything about that trip, especially for Your use of it to enhance my Spanish skills.
Lord, the travels that really mean the most to me are the ones that I clearly felt You pushing me to go on. Being able to serve You by serving other people is a privilege that I have been able to enjoy. Thank You, God, for showing me New York City. On that mission trip, You showed me how You see & how You love every different borough of NYC. As my first mission trip, You opened my eyes there to helping people on a whole new level & rejoicing in You all the while. God, my trip to El Salvador is probably the most impactful trip You've sent me on. Helping our sister church & their community in Ahuachapan was amazing. That's where You really taught me how You are the same, loving God all over the world. Not only did I grow close with the other people on the trip, but I also was able to spend time with the Salvadorians of the youth group at our sister church, Nuevo Jerusalem. We were also blessed with many kids to play with while they were waiting on their parents at the medical center we ran. Thank You for showing me the hearts of the Salvadorians, as well as more of my own heart. I pray that I can return there one day & see some friends again. I want to do all that I can to help them in any way they need. God, thank You also for sending me back to Central America for a second time. You used my Spring Break to let me serve You in Costa Rica. I hardly knew anyone else on the IV trip, but that quickly changed. Thank You for using us in various ways in the Shiroles community. Thank You also for allowing us to work with the missionary family there. I also want to thank You for our leaders from Students International, Cailah, Aiyla, & Krista. They are all wonderful people. Thank You for giving us the right mindsets while we were there - to serve You wholeheartedly. May we continue to have that mindset in our everyday lives, God.
Thank You for providing me with all the means to go on these trips, especially in going to Costa Rica, when I raised the exact amount of money I needed. Provide for me, Lord, in further travels, & send me out more. Thank You for my passion to go. Protect the missionaries that are out serving You with all of themselves right now. Help us never lose sight of why we serve. Thank You for keeping me safe during my travels - please continue that. May I keep a steady sight of where You call me toward at any given time.
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." -Matthew 28:19-20Amen.