{africa bound}

Years ago, when Courtney ran her first marathon, I told her, "I have no desire to run a marathon, ever. I just don't know why you'd do that?" {coming from the cross country runner}

Fast forward five years, and there we were, running the Chicago Marathon.

When Courtney and Ashley went to Africa a few years ago, I had the same reaction. "Why would you everrr...?"

But then, something happened. Something shifted in my heart and I couldn't stop thinking about going to Africa. I wrote it in my journal every day. I dabbled on websites: how much would it cost? how long would I have to stay there?

I couldn't shake the idea that I wanted to go - needed to go.

This winter, I started reading Love Does by Bob Goff. Throughout the book, he talks about his foundation, Restore International. With every story he told, the idea got louder and louder in my head, quickly turning from a quiet hum to a steady drum beat: I want to be part of this.

At the end of the book, Bob leaves his number. For no certain reason, I decided to give him a call: why not? I rambled for what must have been the longest voicemail he's ever received, going on about how much I loved the book, how amazing what he's doing is, does he ever need help with anything? Is he coming to Atlanta anytime soon? Does he want to get coffee?

Within a few hours, he called me back and, before I knew it, he'd suggested I come to Africa with him. In the true spirit of Love Does, I just said yes before I even processed the question.

So, this fall, I'm heading to Uganda with Restore International to get involved with the movement to combat local injustice. I'll get to help build classrooms in a new school that's under construction, will visit the existing school to meet the kids enrolled (the part I'm most excited about!) and meet with local leaders. I'm so excited :)

Listen below to hear him talk with one of the students.

I've been having a hard time figuring out exactly how to raise support. I just asked my friends and family to help me build the well less than a year ago.  They say it takes a village and sometimes I feel like when they say that, they're talking about me. 

I know it's asking a lot, but if you feel compelled to support me in my trip, I would greatly appreciate it if you donated to the cause. And, if you're able to donate $20, I will send you a bracelet in the mail! :)

When I was younger, I was incredibly homesick and hated to be away from my family. On one particularly long trip, my mom and best friend, Katie, took thick, colored rubber bands and wrote notes to me on them. I never took them off, and when I was sad at night I would read them and feel comforted. They wrapped me in love and made me feel less lonely. They became so much more than something around my wrist - they stood for something bigger. 

When I go to Africa, I am bound to feel homesick (it's in the fabric of my being). I hope that when I look at my wrist and see the bracelets, I will feel comforted and supported. I will feel loved and reminded that I wouldn't have made it that far without all of you. I will be reminded that it's OK to admit you need support from one village to get you to the next one.

Thank YOU so much!