Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cara's in Africa!

Hello friends!

Just a quick update to let you know that I am here in Johnannesburg, South Africa safely. :) I am having a wonderful time meeting my Madagascar team - they all seem super sweet! Thank you so much for your prayers - Heather and I met up in Atlanta and were able to sleep on our long flight over to Africa. ALL of our luggage made it intact and the airport was incredibly calm compared to Haiti! Ha ha. Four days until we actually touch the ground of our beloved Madagascar! Please pray that we would have a healthy transition on every level. :0)

Cara :)
Genesis 31:49b - May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Top 3

Let me start out by saying THANK YOU for all of you who came to my farewell shindig and have written such sweet letters and notes. I feel very loved. :) Since I have been back in Tennessee, people have been asking questions about my time in Madagascar and I thought I would go ahead and answer the top 3 in this short-turned-long update!

1. Are you getting excited?!
YES! lol. Five days till takeoff!!! I am thrilled that I get this opportunity and cannot begin to imagine what is in store these next two years knowing that He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (Eph. 3:20).

2. Can I give you money?
Ha ha, yes...but I already get a stipend for food, housing, etc, so fret not - my basic needs are met! Please do not in any way feel like you have to give money. It's just that so many people are asking that I'm putting this on here, so if you wish to give, there are two ways...
A. My parents are co-signed on my bank accounts, so anything you send (cash, checks, peace and goodwill) to my home address they will deposit into my account. That address is:
***address deleted***
B. If you want to give through the company for tax deductible purposes, you can send it to:
***address deleted***
The important thing to note about giving this way is that on the check you need to put "For Cara's personal account," or it will just go into regular funds. What will I do with this extra money, you may wonder...well, I don't know yet! What I am thinking now is that it will be for ministry that the company doesn't cover, like if I find a child that needs an operation or want to make a big meal and have some neighbors over, by more medical supplies, things of that nature. If we have a "special project" or something like that come up, I'll let you know how you can help. Again, you all are SO sweet to offer your assistance for whatever comes up and when it does, I'll let you know! :D

3. What's your timeline, again?
Heather and I will be leaving on Monday, December 28th, for Atlanta --> Johannesburg, South Africa. We'll be in Johannesburg for an Indian Ocean Islands prayer retreat over New Year's. January 3rd is the day we get to see Madagascar for the first time!!! From January to March 2010 we will be in full-time language school in the city Antsirabe. Here we will have fairly decent internet access, so email away! April will be spent in Zambia learning how to live in a hut like Africans. ;) May on out will be spent based in a small town called Kelilalina on the edge of the southeastern rain forest. This and deeper in the rain forest is where the Tanala people live - yay!
While at language school my address will be:
***address deleted***
I'll let you know where you can send letters in Kelilalina when the time draws nearer and I know the answer myself! :P

Now I am going to go play games with my family and eat some chocolate goodies...

You all are such a blessing to me,
Cara :)
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you... :) Philippians 1:3

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A curly-headed girl stares wide-eyed into her computer screen thinking, "What do I say? How can I possibly encapsulate the last two months into a single blog update? The relationships formed, lessons learned, fun times, new experiences (first time to Waffle House! lol)'s just too much to process and put on a page." So what does she do? She starts typing in the third person. :D

Ha ha...but really, 'tis true! For those of you who haven't heard, training in Virginia is over and I am back in Nashville soaking up time with family, friends, favorite foods, and frolicking through the frosty streets with fast frenzy. Well, maybe that last one is a stretch (and maybe not...). Anyway, I thank you all so much for praying for me during my time at FPO. It was truly a blessing. Next step: fly out to Africa on December 28th! Huzzah! *grin*

While at training I heard of a couple who had *gasp* actually been to Madagascar AND were visiting that day. Having a friend point them out to me, I slid gracefully into the chair beside them and, after a quick greeting, queried about any advice they might have for Heather and I as we head to Madagascar. "If you don't have people praying for you and you're not right with God, don't get off the plane!" was their quick reply. Wow. They said Mada is one of the most dark/oppressed places in the world...and as they continued talking, I got more and more excited.

I don't know if you know this about me, but I don't always respond in, say, stereotypical ways. :P When someone gets a laceration, I am drawn to them to see how deep it is, apply pressure, cleanse it, help sew it up, and hear the story of how it happened (and if it's a lame story, assist them in making up a better one! :).

I love you all,
Cara :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Malagasy Folktale

"One day long ago, Zanahary [Creator God] asked the first man and woman if they would prefer to die like the moon or like a banana tree. The couple looked at each other in confusion until the woman asked, 'What does it mean to die like the moon?'

Zanahary replied, 'The moon is always reborn. Each month the moon starts out as a sliver and grows bigger. Then it gets smaller until one night it disappears. The next night it's a sliver again.'

The couple thought about this for a moment. The the man asked, 'How does one die like a banana tree?'

'A banana tree sends off shoots. After the tree dies, the shoots continue to live, eventually growing into young trees,' answered Zanahary.

So if the couple didn't have children, they could live forever like the moon does. If they did have kids, they would give life to others like the banana tree does. The first couuple thought about this choice, and they decided to die like a banana tree. Because of their decision, humans have only one lifetime on earth."

-From Madagascar, by Mary N. Oluonye

Interesting, eh? I am SO looking forward to hearing some more tales from Mada.