I took a deep breath, hit “publish”, and immediately closed my laptop screen. I was scared to death to make the announcement, but excited all the same. I had no idea how people would respond. I was afraid that nobody would sign up and that this project I’ve been dreaming about for a long time would be a tremendous failure. But despite my fears, I hit that publish button.
And you came through.
Within 24 hours I had 4 applications in my inbox, and 7 information inquiries. Two weeks later our trip to Ecuador was filled up with 10 people who I, myself, could not have done a better job at hand-picking. I was blown away at the support and response. Not only from those who joined the team, but from all of you…blog readers I’ve never met, friends, family members. I sat in my parents living room last night attempting to organize all the donations that came in for us to bring to the orphanage in Ecuador. To say that I was overwhelmed is an understatement. Bags upon bags and boxes upon boxes. Formula, toys, books, art supplies, hygiene products, peanut butter, shoes, and clothes. And then some more clothes. Not just your run-of-the-mill, beat up, stained, goodwill-worthy clothes. The clothes that you donated to these orphans were from Baby gap, Ralph Lauren kids, Crewcuts (J.crew kids), Gymboree, The Children’s place, and Old Navy. Nice, nice stuff! All in brand new (with tags!) or like-new condition. And right then I realized that although there are 10 of us leaving shortly to go to Ecuador and serve these orphans for a week, you are coming right along side of us. Because of you, these kids will be the best dressed and best fed orphans in all South America (well, in my opinion!). For that, I am so very grateful.
I think it goes without saying that this will be our first of many trips. I’ve had so many people tell me that they will do all they can to make sure they are able to go with us next year. Not just because people want to travel to some awesome exotic place for a adventurous vacation (which this will be, in part), but because they have a love in their hearts that they want to share with the world. And because I’ve seen an overwhelming response, rooted in love, since I made the announcement about this trip 2 months ago, I’ve decided to call these trips “Simply Love” from now on. So, the Simply Love tour of 2012 is about to go down and I can’t wait to share pictures, videos and stories with you upon our return.
Thank you, again!
Ps – If you are the praying type, we would appreciate your prayers this week! Below is a list of all those who will be in Ecuador for this trip: