Even as I type the title I cannot believe we have gone and are back. Now I say this as a person who is still surprised (very much so) that I have visited France twice before and Spain once before. I can remember a girl of 16 who got her passport in order to be able to travel with a school group to Russia only to have it arrive a few days after she found out there was not enough money for her to go on the trip. Yeah, I cried when I tucked away my passport in my file box. (Yeah, I was a geeky kid that kept things in a file box. ) And my loving and unknowingly prophetic mom said "Well, maybe you can use it sometime later?" to which I, in my state of teenage this-is-the-end-of-the-world-dejection answered, "Yeah, sure mom, how is that gonna happen." (That ungrateful kid, your mom had just sprung for a not cheap passport and you sass her!)
Sometime later I accepted the Lord as my Savior!, I graduated from high school, I went to college at the best place for a new Christian like me to spread her wings (UT) and was surrounded by the most active and encouraging family of believers I could never have found on my own, when I sat in a Campus Crusade for Christ meeting and was told that if I gave my summer to the Lord, He could take me any place. The names of all the possible stateside vacation locales were posted on the overhead along with the international locations. I felt like I was being pointed at and asked directly what I was going to do about it. Now I am not a beach girl but those were the only possiblities that seemed available to me, because we had to raise our own funds (not meaning our own without the Lord's help, I mean without a missions board or church specifically funding us) and the money needed to go was not by any means exorbitant, but, hello, I was in college, any trip was expensive. It took my unbelieving roommate to urge me to take the leap to the locale that my eyes kept falling on "Paris". And how did she do that, well, she said "If you say God is going to have to provide the funds for you to go any of the beach places why can't He provide for you to go to Paris." And she didn't say it as a test, she said it with the child like faith in that He can do anything. And He did. (that previous three word sentence is a story in itself, but I have already gone on to much for the intro about our trip) I used the filed away passport (it had not expired) for an eight week summer mission trip in Paris, France where I truly began to understand evangelism and the heart for it, and I fell in love with France.