This is my first picture with Jamie. Just moments before this picture was taken, he tapped me on the shoulder, and I turned around to see him standing there, barely looking up at me in his dirty white tank top. I didn’t understand him in his language at the time, but Gabriel helped us communicate. In his loud, African words and authoritative voice, Gabriel told him “speak up, boy – what is it you want to say?!” Jamie – Amidu at the time – shriveled up and it took him a few more times to bravely look in my eyes and tell me…
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand the language, please help me – what?”
Jamie looked at the floor and spoke again what I couldn’t understand.
Gabriel said, “Ohhhhh, He wants to tell you, he have no sponsor.”
Jamie looked up at me and softly spoke, “I have no sponsor…”
I had told Shanna on our flight to let me know which kids needed a sponsor so I could choose one for our family to sponsor – and then I said forget it. Don’t tell me. The one who I’m supposed to sponsor will find me. I’ll know.
So, of course, as soon as I understood his sweet words, tears began to roll and I smiled wide and said, “ME!!! It’s me!! I’m your sponsor!!!”
I will never forget that moment.
I am so excited to share that we are planning my 3rd trip to Africa, and my daughters and our oldest son’s FIRST!
the idea of taking our kids has been such a GINORMOUS dream that I’ve been scared to even share it. I’m ashamed of my own fears and lack of faith in something so ridiculous actually happening. I couldn’t believe it when I went alone, much less when my husband and I were able to go together last year – but FOUR OF US???? COULD THAT REALLY BE POSSIBLE??? Ugh. I doubted. I doubted bad.
But, no more.
With all of the faith I can possibly muster up, I am saying WE ARE GOING TO AFRICA!!!!!!!
I may have missed his 13th birthday there this year, but I believe this is perfect timing for our trip. Just this past week Sierra Leone was officially declared EBOLA FREE!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!!
So, time to open my heart WAY UP and GET BUSY. Holy WHOAH.
Here are some of the questions that we’ve gotten that I’d like to share the answers to with you:
When are you going??
We hope to fly out on December 17th and return Christmas day!
Who is going??
Me, my two 14 year olds, Jacey, Ja’nee AND God willing, our oldest son, Skylar, too!!!
We will also meet up with some dear friends there arriving just after us that we will be able to connect and serve with!
What are the expenses?
Flights around $9-10,000
Passports (expedited) & vaccinations for the 3 kids – around $900
3 Visas $420
Adoption paperwork to submit – around $800
Food & lodging will be minimal as we will be staying at the orphanage, but cost for the week for 4 of us will be around $500
We are already up to 5,000!!! AND – as I sat down to type this, a sweet friend called out of the blue to say she wanted to donate to our trip.
Only $7,900 to go!!
But for now, this week we are only focusing on the $4000 needed to get our flights locked in at the current rate before any rate jump happens.
FAITH, my friends. I need you to believe with me, please?
Short notice much??
We have actually been saving and planning this for a while, but recently had an incident with a thief that jacked our budget. While we had hoped to be able to fund our trip without asking for donations, God had a different plan.
PLUS – we are now hoping to add our oldest son, Skylar to the trip so the girls and I will have a guy traveling with us! He has always wanted to go and Jamie would be ECSTATIC to meet his big brother!
Why not use a gofundme account?
For now, we are not using a GoFundme or other account, simply because these take approximately 10% of every donation.
How can we pray?
Safety, lowest airfare possible, adoption process and procedures, health, provision, protection, favor and blessing on the us and the children we get to go spend these precious days with!
How can we give?
If you would like to donate, you can make checks payable to Chris Johnson or Studio 7 or donate through the paypal link below! Or call me and we can meet up for coffee or lunch!
You can also share this and the stories I’ll be sharing over the next few weeks. But most of all, giving of your prayers in FAITH are the greatest thing we could ask for!
Meanwhile, and since it’s National Adoption Month, I think it’s a perfect time to re-share the stories of these precious orphans, and the journey that began over three years ago when a shy and softspoken little Amidu Tarwallie became my son, Jamie Johnson.
Here is Africa trip #1, day 1…
***Fun fact- Gabriel, one of the first Africans I met who helped us the night we arrived, he now lives here IN AMERICA, just a couple miles from me and is married to my friend Deborah who I also first met in Africa. Deborah is now my daughter Ja’nee’s mentor at Odyssey Leadership Academy! Gabriel and Deborah will be going back to Africa the same week we are as well! HOW COOL IS GOD??? =)
I hope you’ll read, their stories are so worth telling and sharing. And of course, if you feel led to give, our family would be incredibly grateful and pray blessings on blessings to blow like wildfires for you and yours! ❤