Now that the days until departure are below 40, this trip seems to be more real each day! With the realness of the trip also comes the reality of the need for intense organization on the part of the planner (because if it was up to Joel we would pack March 18th).
I have gone on several international trips before on Mission trips, I even spent a month in Africa, so I would say have enough experience to be adequately confident in my packing skills. However, they were all when I was single, and we were staying as a group in a specific location, and all the details were taken care of..... now it is completely different. Spending 100 days in a city in which none of us have ever visited makes for a whole new story and a whole different kind of organization process.
I have spent some time today online, printing out travel checklists and packing lists in order to help create my own. Of course the plan was to do this while my toddler napped, however, after laying in her bed for over 1 hour with several visits out to the table, she is still awake and now crawling all over me, kissing me as I type..... I guess it has turned into a no nap day.... then while trying to print my checklists, our printer wouldn't work..... urggghhhhh! I was warned last night at Bible study that things like this would happen to try to steal my joy and excitement about going to serve.... and today it worked.... I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Deep breath and focus on the joy in the journey!
Some things we can now check off our list..... House - check - God has worked out all the details and their is a family whose house is sold and needs to be out by the end of March, and their new home is being remodeled and won't be done until June. Awesome God Moment! Dog - Check - Our beloved Tucker is going to be having a 100 day sleepover at the Benner's house! Austin will be in charge of him and I think they will end up being great buds! Suitcases - check - we had to purchase several for the trip but with others donating some for us to use, we only had to purchase 3 and I know they will get lots of use for trips to come. House cleaning/organization - part of a check.... I have been trying to sort and downsize room by room..... I am about half way through the process.
Now comes the time to begin the list making, and suitcase planning.... 12 suitcases! 9 Large ones to check and 3 carry on size which we will use while in Hungary for a few days. Since we will be living in an apartment while we are there we will be taking a few kitchen items, spices, and snacks so we don't have to buy all those from scratch. Then two suitcases of clothing and such for each of us for the three months, one with toys, games, books, etc for mini me, and the rest will be filled with ministry materials for our time there.
Many have asked or suggested shipping things over so we don't have to navigate taking 12 suitcases, however - those are all included in the cost of our flight, so it doesn't make sense to pay extra to ship those things when we have the ability to take them with us for free.
So prayers would be appreciated as we get to the "final countdown" we know that this is going to be an awesome adventure and God has great things in store for us.... 38 days! We can do this! With God, all things are possible!!!