Why I Need a New Passport

I found my expired passport the other day.  And to be completely honest, I was HORRIFIED by what I saw.  Please, don’t comment with things like, “Erin, you’re being too hard on yourself” or “Erin, I don’t think it’s that’s bad” or “Erin, I think you look beautiful.”

Well, I guess you can make those comments, but then I’ll know which of my friends are liars.

Look.

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I heard the gasps.

Horrific, right?

And I have no excuse at all for that look.  Yes, those are straps to jean overalls on my shoulders that I am still wearing in 2000… well past their prime.  Yes, my hair… honestly, I’m speechless about that hair.  Each time I try to say something about it, vomit gets lodged in my throat.  And my eyebrows!  Why in the world are they waxed so far apart from each other?  And, the bags under my eyes!  What is that all about?  This picture was taken well before I had children.  Back in the day when I would lay my head on my pillow and not get up until I deemed so, which was usually around 10am, if I wasn’t working.  I have no reason to be looking that tired.

Thank God I’ll be getting a new passport soon.

Why are you getting a new passport, Erin?

I’m so glad you asked.  Gotta love a good segue.

I’m getting a new passport because I’m going on a missions trip to Honduras in July!

I love my kids.  I really, really do.  With all my heart!  To the moon and back.  Actually to the rock formerly known as the planet Pluto, and back.  (The moon is relatively close to us, if you think about it.)  Anyway, my heart overflows with love for my three munchkins, but the one thing I have completely missed since becoming a mother are missions trips.

I love traveling to new places and sharing the love of Jesus with more than just words.  I love providing for people’s physical needs, and running a VBS for the crazy kids, and helping to build homes and churches.  And as much as I say that I’m going down there to help the people, I know from experience that I will come home with my heart fuller than when I left.   I know that they will affect me far beyond what I can begin to imagine.  That’s how amazing God is, you know?

Honduras is just special to me.  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to explain it fully.  My first trip was in 1996 with my best friend.  We opted for a missions trip as a senior trip (crazy, wild, party animals that we were!)  And it was a hard couple of weeks of heat, humidity, and sickness.      But it was one of the first times that I was on my own experiencing people that had next to nothing, overflow with joy because of Jesus.  After I graduated from college, I was pretty much clueless as to what I was going to do with my life.  So I opted for Honduras, again.  I moved down there and worked with an amazing organization called Signs of Love.  They reach out to the deaf (who are largely ignored by society) and teach them sign language and also about the love of God.  That was when I first met my teamer, Robin.

There’s no better way to explain it than to say that she was (and still is) a sister to me.  We clicked from the beginning and she honestly modeled for me how to be completely and totally abandoned to God’s will for her life.  She gave up everything to just follow His voice.  Her reliance on Him alone and her passion to make a Kingdom difference with her life was something brand new for me. The time I spent with her represents a milestone in my life.  It marks a place where my love for God and my relationship with Him became real.  So much more than the dos and don’ts that I learned at church, or Bible verses that I memorized, or habits that I had formed.  It’s where I realized that God truly moves, and God is so alive, and that I really can live moment to moment for Him.

Last December the unthinkable happened to my friend, Robin.  Her husband (of less than three years) was killed in a car accident.  It was unimaginable, not only because the thought of anyone losing his or her spouse is unimaginable, but also because it was Robin.  She had waited and prayed for her husband for so long.  He needed to be a man unlike any other, that would give up everything he knew to follow the call put on her life.  Jeff was that amazing man.  And he was taken from her way too soon.

Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there.  I wrote about Steve in an earlier post.  He is the father of a childhood friend of mine, and was like a brother to Robin.  Days after Jeff died, Steve traveled down to Honduras to comfort Robin and help her to recover.  But as they were traveling in a car together, men on the roadside shot and killed Steve.  As I wrote previously, Steve was an amazing person.  His love and generosity for people was unmatched.  He had a heart for Honduras and the ministry going on down there, so in some weird way, it makes sense that his last moments were spent there serving a friend in need.

While I am definitely going to be serving the Honduran people on this trip, through vacation Bible school and finishing a church building, this feels like more of a heartfelt mission than ever before.  This time it’s bigger than the physical service we will provide.  It’s that and more.  It’s bringing comfort to a friend who lost more that I can begin to imagine.  And it’s allowing the generosity of a man with a huge heart for the poor, to continue beyond his own life.

I’m putting all of this here on my blog, because I’m asking for your support.

First and foremost, please PRAY!  Prayer is so incredibly powerful!  I have seen the miraculous happen all because of prayer and fasting.  Pray for God’s will to be done while we are there.  Pray for the safety of each member of our team.  Pray for traveling mercies.  Personally, I would love it if you’d pray for my family.  My heart is definitely torn about leaving my babies to go so far for so long, even though it’s only 8 days.  Pray for God’s grace to be all over us as we’re far away from each other.  Pray for protection and peace while I’m gone.  A mama is not easily replaced!

Finally, please pray about supporting me financially.  We are going to be doing a group fundraiser (more abut that later), but the cost of the entire trip is $1800.  And, actually Geric has decided to join me!  (Praise God!) So, the cost of our trip jumped up to $3600.  I know that seems like an awful lot of money but as Geric told me, “Where God guides, God provides.”  And he’s so right!  I’m not going to put God in a box and say that this is too expensive.  I’m going to have faith in my God as a mighty provider!  If you feel led to support me through your finances, you can just click the Honduras Button to the right on my blog (or at the bottom of this post) and from there find my name “Erin DeVincenzo” from the drop down menu and give whatever amount you feel led to give.

Also, you’re always welcome to give the old fashioned way, by writing a check, and then you have a couple of options.  You can either wait until the next time you see me and slip it into my pocket when I’m not paying attention.  I love finding money when I’m doing my laundry, it eases the pain.  Or, you can make it out to North Hills Communtiy Church (thus making it tax deductible), put my name in the memo (or Geric’s!) and send it to P.O. Box 398, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91729.

Finally, I would, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it if you would leave an encouraging word or your favorite Bible verse in either the comment section of this post or in an email to me.  I know that there will be times when I’m feeling discouraged or missing home and reading a message from a friend can really bring strength.

Thanks in advance for all your support!  I’m already praising Jesus for the miracles that I will see!