Sunday, November 22, 2009
Well ... the bag is packed, I'm ready to go ... and no ... I am not going to sing any more of THAT song!
Tomorrow I hop a flight west to Beijing and then back East and North. The northern version of the country I currently reside in.
Tuesday is the day we go in, tomorrow we spend the night in Beijing, picking up Visas for the trip North.
For those of you wishing to know a little more about what I am doing, read on.
Our school works in partnership with the Eugene Bell Foundation. Eugene Bell support TB care centres throughout the North. TB is rampant up there and Eugene Bell do an awesome job partnering with the locals to provide medical supplies and assistance where needed and requested. You can read an excellent article about them here.
For the past nine years, I have served on our fundraising committee. We have an intense 6 week period where staff and students pull out all the stops to raise funds to buy a 6 month resupply kit for our care centre. The past 5 or so years, we have been able to resupply the clinic for a year which has been fantastic. Our kids have fun while saving lives. Things we did in the past year were a cooking school, an arthouse coffee house with live music and poetry, craft bazaars, hot chocolate sales, collecting coins and competing against other classes to get the most weight, soak the teacher campaigns, sales of shammograms (candy and personalised messages on St Patrick's day), an entire school fair put on by the different classes, talent shows ... you name it, our kids do it!
People often wonder how we know that the supplies are getting to where they need to go. Eugene Bell take a visiting team in twice a year and check the supplies and the clinics to see all is going well. I will be on one of those visiting delegations. Actually, I am going to be the official photographer for this visiting delegation and it will probably be some of the most challenging photography of my life! It's dark ... many things are not allowed to be photographed ... i am stepping out of my comfort zone and shooting up close with people ... :) The photos will be used by Eugene Bell with their fundraising and sponsors around the world so I really want to do a good job.
I will be gone two weeks and back on Dec 8th. Please pray for me and the team while I am gone ... Here are the things I would love prayer for ... (will be out of touch with the world for the next two weeks).
1. Health - I will be in and out of TB clinics with very sick patients, please pray for our protection. In addition, if I get sick, i would not be able to visit the sick patients and it is really important i get the pics.
2. Visas. Please pray that all our visas come through fine on Monday 23rd (or 22nd for my Nth American friends).
3. Camera Gear. Please pray on TUESDAY (24th) that all my camera gear gets in okay. We are a little concerned about one of the lenses. Pray that we have no difficulties or malfunctioning equipment.
4. Photography. Pray that I capture "moments". The pictures I am looking to catch are those fleeting moments where faces light up with hope and joy as patients get their meds. Those are the pics I want to bring back and show people.
5. Safety. Pray for our safety as we travel around.
6. Light. please pray that I would shine and be a light in some dark places.
7. Generally ... for me, I think this is going to be a hard trip, yet, I am fully confident that this is a God trip. Pray that I am close with him this trip.
I will post in two and a half weeks. Until then ...