Hey there from Maypop in St. Louis, the cutest little neighborhood coffee and garden shop. I’m here for a couple days visiting my sister and then on to our hometown of Moberly, MO tomorrow evening for the holiday weekend.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks preparing for my Middle East trip, a CO visit from my in-laws, making headway on healing heath issues, traveling to see family, and getting ahead on work projects.
My “party with a purpose” on Sunday, June 23rd was a success. I felt the love and support of people from all spheres of my life: family, church, old friends, and new ones. My dear friend Maddison graciously hosted about 15 of my people and made a hummus bar with SEVEN varieties of hummus. What a gift! I got to talk about my trip and vision, and share my art in person. My hope was to send guests home inspired and provoked (in the good way!)
I met with Suzann, executive director of Beirut & Beyond, on Saturday to hash out last minute details and see her off on her trip to work for 3 months in the Middle East, where I’ll join her in just a few weeks! It’s hard to believe I fly to the Middle East in 27 days! She flies out tonight, and next time I see her will be in Amman, Jordan.
Over a parting glass of Chenin Blanc Viognier, I told her the things I still had uncertainties about, the ways I was nervous or unsure of what to expect. As I spoke, she gently laughed and reminded me of what I already know from experience traveling, experience traveling in the Middle East specifically, from a life of faith, from 29 years of living as a human: I cannot anticipate it all. I can pack snacks, I can keep asking for support, and I can find my way to a taxi to take me to an address I for sure mispronounce, but much of this journey, as with all of life, will unfold as it does.
My job is to learn and be curious.
I met, with open hands and heart, her sending vision cast for my trip: “relax, have fewer expectations, get ready to be challenged by the realities on the ground, and be prepared to be more exhausted than you can imagine.”
Okay. I think I can do that.
The finer logistics and material details are much less important than the big heart stuff. However, the reality remains that I need help to take this trip to serve Palestinian refugees, and I hope you’ll join me. I’m currently nearing halfway to my overall goal of $3,000 for my trip to the Middle East. So excited how people near and far, close friends and those I’ve not seen in a while but to whom I’ll always have a connection, are showing up for me and for Palestinian refugees. THANK YOU! If you haven’t yet given (or intend to), please consider making your donation today to help me reach my goal quickly. I need $700 to meet my next goal of covering all of my international flights and housing deposits. Can you help me get there today!? The sale of 4-5 more “Crushing Walls” prints would put me to this next milestone and well on my way to having my trip fully funded.
If you attended my gathering or if you’ve donated, you’re a part of peacemaking. Thank you for joining me in this process. Your partnership is so encouraging to me!