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The beginning of the journey

posted Mar 30, 2014, 8:30 PM by Julie Lawson   [ updated Mar 30, 2014, 11:57 PM ]
I was first introduced to Engineering Ministries International (EMI) in 1999 when a good friend of mine in college, Holly, graduated and sacrificed a paying job in Civil Engineering to intern with EMI for six months. She liked it so much she reenlisted for another six-month intern term. When she came back to campus to tell of her trips to Liberia and Guatemala I was captivated and in admiration of how she used her skills to make a difference to people in need across the ocean. But I was in graduate school, then got married, then started my own career, then had children, and there never seemed to be a good time for me to use my gifts in this same way.

The spark was reignited in 2009 when another friend and co-worker, Erin, volunteered to serve on an EMI trip as a professional and traveled to India. Once again I heard of the impact that she was able to have on others, as well as the impact that serving had on her life. Someday, I wanted to do the same.

Of all things, what prompted me to action included watching an episode of House Hunters International set in Ecuador. The beauty of the country was incredible and I talked with Erin about wanting to travel there someday. I periodically checked the EMI website to view upcoming trips, but had never seen Ecuador on the list (it is not one of their frequent destinations) and I didn't have Ecuador in mind as a destination for a mission trip, but as a vacation (someday, when the kids are older).

God has been working in my life and recently started to stir the pot with more fervor. In February, 2014 I saw that Ecuador was listed as an upcoming trip and one of the volunteer needs fit my experience. On February 13, I asked EMI to be a part of the trip as the Civil Engineer responsible for the water and wastewater design. On March 13, I found out that I was selected to be a part of the team. The story of how I learned this news deserves an entire blog post in itself; I can summarize by saying that God truly spoke to me that day.

As I write this on March 30 I still do not have many details on the logistics, but I trust that the trip is in God's hands, I am humbled to be able to serve, and I am excited about the adventure ahead. I am asking for support in fundraising, but especially in prayer. I will do my best to update this site leading up to the trip, during the trip if possible, and definitely after the trip.

We are all blessed in different ways with different gifts. I ask that you share in this journey with me in whatever way you are able. But please, just join me and experience God's grace!

                                                                                                                            - Julie