After months of anticipation, it's finally here. My anti-human trafficking training is scheduled to begin at 8 AM tomorrow morning. We arrived in Indianapolis last night and checked into a hotel for the night. It was literally the most stressful day before a trip we've ever had. And that's saying a lot. I was unusually sluggish. Normally, if I don't have all the laundry run the day before, I have at least a good start on it. Well, I hadn't washed a thing come Friday morning. So I literally had about eight loads of laundry to wash as well as all the packing to do. About the only thing I had done was to pull together all the school supplies Troy would need for the next five weeks. And okay. That was a massive job. So by 9:30 Friday night, aside from the school supplies, nothing was packed. For a five-week trip. Tensions and tempers were high. The tension in the air was so think that even the kids could feel it. It was bad. Thankfully, after eating a little supper, I got a burst of energy and was able to do most of the packing in about two hours. It also helped that we had abandoned our plan to leave at 5:30 in the morning. Instead, we slept in a bit and left when we were ready.
As long as we're in Mississippi, the kids have medical coverage. But once we step foot out of state, that coverage disappears faster than an ice cube in July. And of course, the dry, cold air we hit as we went north irritated the kids' throats. At least one of the kids now has a pretty nasty cough as a result. I'm sure more will follow.
Today we were able to visit some dear friends of ours, friends we haven't seen in six months. We anticipate many more fun times to come during our stay in Indiana. After our fun day together, we all got back into the car and drove to our little home away from home here on the OMS campus. We stayed in this apartment this summer during our month of Cross Training. It holds many great memories for us; it was a little bittersweet unpacking our things this evening, knowing our dear friends from last summer won't be here with us.
After I'd unpacked our belongings, and began preparing myself for the start of class tomorrow, I thought about our packing day and the fact that our kids are already fighting the sick germs. I'm not really convinced they were coincidental. The subject matter I'll be focusing on for the next several weeks is very serious and dark. But there's also a lot of hope and promise as well. With God's help, and through His grace and mercy, we can learn how to minister to those caught in the bondage of slavery. There is one who would love nothing better than to keep them there---and to keep us distracted from our purpose. Maybe the hectic packing day and the illness were attempts to do just that. Keep us distracted. Unbalanced. Unfocused. Stressed.
I will be praying each morning for the day's sessions, and I would love for you to do the same. This is a subject matter that tugs at my heart. It is very emotionally laden for me. I just know that the next few weeks will be difficult in many ways. It's always hard to hear about suffering. So please pray with me for the leaders and for those of us participating in the training. Pray that God uses these sessions to break our hearts anew and give us the fervor and the love needed to help the hurting.
I'm not sure yet quite how often I'll be posting, but I'm sure it will be at least a couple times a week. If you have not already signed up to follow this blog or our ministry blog, (www.disciplesofallnations.blogspot.com -- I'll be posting the same entries to each blog each time), you might want to do so.
Thank you in advance for your prayers. And please keep praying with me that everyone, particularly the kids, will have their coughs disappear and remain healthy for the rest of the time here.