Thursday, March 14, 2013

Days in Anchorage

What an adventure and it's only just begun. Late on this Thursday night as I wait for the dryer to finish this last load I can't help but think about the past few days and the road that brought us here.

In reality we started this journey in the middle of October when a sweet friend, who just happens to be our youth pastor's wife, told me about this incredible mission trip to Nome Alaska. Mark and I talked about it for a few days, pitched the idea to Junior and the rest is history. Well truth be told its when the journey began. From that day forward for the next 5 months Jr skimped and saved and worked her tail off. We started Parents Night Out at our church, Koza Baptist, and I began working more with the local Japanese children all to raise money for this missions trip. We were blessed that we have not tapped into our families finances for this trip and are making mission debt free!

Now here we are, the night before we fly out to Nome. Do I think we are ready? No, I most certainly do not think we are ready. Is anyone ever really "ready" for a mission trip? For those of you who know me this is a huge step. I like to be in control, I like to know what each day has planned for me and my family. I like to know the people we will be working with, working to help, staying with, eating with, living life and serving God with. I KNOW NONE of this information. This is a HUGE leap for me. A week before we left Okinawa to come on this journey, I was seriously have second thoughts. Fear started to creep inside like I've not felt in such a long time. At times I felt like the stress of everything going on around me was going to swallow me up and render me useless.

Many of you reading this have no clue what the two weeks preceding our first flight entailed. Let's see... My amazing and most wonderful husband had his second right shoulder surgery, leaving him unable to move 3 fingers on his right hand or his wrist. He has since gained complete control and use of them! Praise God, but let me tell you that was a scary 3 days. We had to finish up 2 stupid, I mean very important science fair projects. I [with the drugged up help of Mark] completed our moving paperwork, scheduled the movers, got our plane tickets, and secured hotels for both ends of the move. And did I mention that 36 hours before our flight I was in the ER being diagnosed with a 6mm kidney stone. So yeah, it has been an interesting journey getting here.

I've done a lot of praying in this last few weeks. The Lord has heard all my prayers and has kept me sane in the midst of chaos. I have yet to pass this wicked stone, but once or twice a day it reminds me that it is still there. I have prayed that this will not prevent me from living life, enjoying this trip and serving to the best of my abilities. So far so good, the work is just beginning though.

Jr and I board the last plane of this journey tomorrow morning. I ask that you stand in agreement with us that we will be a vessel through which will will serve and bring honor to God Almighty. We are not just representing ourselves, or our family, but our entire Koza family and Christian family. As the signs states as we leave base in Okinawa... "Remember, You are a US Ambassador", and I always tell the kids ... and a constant witness of Christ and a member of the Francis Family... do what is RIGHT and live with integrity.

So here we go, Ambassadors of Christ, Koza and the Francis Family. Sure hope I don't mess up!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

From Cherry Blossoms to Cherry Point?

Yep, you guessed it. We are moving from beautiful Okinawa Japan to Cherry Point NC.

 From Cherry Blossoms to Cherry Point, we are so excited!

Approximately 105 days to do the following:
pack the house, search for more seaglass, go on a mission trip, recover from another shoulder surgery, eat sushi, terriyaki,and Arashi, complete 2 BSA Eagle Projects & have a ceremony, buy another kokeshi doll or two, sell 2 cars, find a HUGE set of Shisa-dogs, celebrate birthdays, find 20 more geocaches, go ziplining, clean house, find more slide parks, color Easter eggs, finish school and finally rack up some more air miles! 
 We are anticipating our arrival on or around May 26, 2013.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Update on the Christmas Jar

 If you've been keeping up with my blog you know that first off Junior and I are headed to Nome Alaska in just 6 short weeks! I wanted to take a moment to give a HUGE SHOUT OUT of THANKS to the person/family who gave us the Christmas Jar. Inside the jar was enough Yen and Dollar to pay for a round trip plane ticket from Anchorage to Nome! They gave us over 25,386 in Yen and 27.65 in Dollar. That comes out to approximately $306.62!
I am floored, we truly cannot say THANK YOU loud enough!
It took Junior, Mark and myself several hours to sort, roll and count the jar! What a great treat on a Sunday afternoon watching football.
It's not too late to support our trip!
 If you are able to help us get to Nome you can send us a check or contact us directly for more options!
The natives of Nome and the musher sub-culture: are you ready? Because we sure are getting ready! We have been working, praying and preparing for this trip for over 4 months; we can't wait to see, experience and be part of such an amazing group of people.
Please send checks or money orders to:
Colleen Francis
PSC 80 Box 22186
APO, AP 96367

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Christmas Jar

So two Sunday's ago Katie and I arrive at Koza (church) ready to worship and sign families up for Parents Night Out. Much to our surprise on our registration table was this beautiful jar filled with Yen and American coins (a few bills too!)  I had to do a bit of research to see what the Christmas Jar was all about, what a beautiful story. If you'd like to read about it click here ... Christmas Jar!
As we continue to pray and prepare for Alaska I ask that you consider sponsoring us. We are working hard at raising funds and are about 1/2 of the way to our goal. Katie and I have talked and we don't want to just cover our expenses on the trip but would also LOVE to bless the ministries in Nome with a Love Offering. With your help we can bless them abundantly.
If you are able to donate, please send a check or money order to:
Colleen Francis
PSC 80 Box 22186
APO, AP 96367
If you would like your donation to be a tax deduction please make your check out to Koza Baptist Church.
And as one of my favorite Pastor's once said... "You spell thousand T-H-O-U-S-A-N-D and million M-I-L-L-I-O-N!" (Pastor Rick Osborne!)