February 19, 2012

Africa ... in t-minus 109 days! AHHHH!

So we are back safe and sound from the frozen tundra that was the Mid-west.  We were slightly disappointed to not see any (substantial) snow, but it was frigid enough (mid 20's at times) to remind us that yes, indeed, our blood has thinned after living in the south for almost 6 years. :)  We had a great time visiting family and friends and Owen just loved being loved on and played with so much!  I was even able to sneak in a photo session to add some funds to our trip goal! (pictures and detailed posts about our trip coming soon!)
Speaking of our trip... I can't believe we only have 109 days left until we leave! Ah!  It's coming up sooo fast!  Right before we left for Michigan we went to the travel clinic to prepare and found out there are no required vaccines to go to Tanzania!  We were sure Yellow Fever was a requirement, but turns out they haven't had any cases of that in over 40 years so it's not!  We were SO excited, especially after reading of the possible side effects that one has, like multiple organ system failure -yikes!  The Doc. wrote our scripts for the Malaria meds, plus a couple more for anti-diarrhea and nausea as a precaution. Details are also starting to come together for the outreach events we'll be doing while we're there, and we will be purchasing our tickets within the next few weeks as well! 
Fundraising for the trip got off to a great start, but has been slowing down a bit.  We've been able to pay for about 1/2 of our expenses for the trip, leaving us with about $3600 left to raise by mid-April.  To help us get to our goal, we are still doing some babysitting nights (CLT locals, spread the word! Feb. 24th in Charlotte, Feb. 25th in Concord from 6pm-9pm, check out our FB page for more info!), we're also having a yard sale in mid-March, and we hope to do a dinner in March as well as a raffle.  I'm still seeking sponsorships from small-(or large) business owners as well. (Is that YOU?  Or do you know someone that owns their business? Sponsor us and get your name/logo on our team shirts - locals, or out of state, it's open to everyone and any business! Email me for more info!) Of course, we're still relying on the support letters we sent out in January as well, and my photo sessions too!
The latest and greatest thing on the fundraising radar though, is our coffee fundraiser!  We've partnered with 963 Coffee and are selling 1lb. bags of organic, fair trade coffee (whole-bean or ground) that comes from places like Africa and South America, FRESH to your door!  They don't even roast the beans until the order has been placed!  If you aren't too keen on coffee, there's cocoa too - from Ghana (of all places!)  The coffee/cocoa comes from farms around the world and a percentage of the sale goes toward making sure the farmers get a fair wage to put their kids through school and put food on the table. For every $12 bag of coffee that is purchased through THIS link: http://www.963coffee.com/c-1-963-coffee.aspx?affiliateID10438(or the picture at the top of our page) $4 will get put toward our Africa fund!  If you're a coffee addict (you know who you are, it's okay to admit it) you can sign up for the "Monthly Obsession" and get a fresh 1-pound bag delivered straight to you each month, and we still continue to get $4 per bag, even after our trip (we'll be saving up again after this trip for the next one!) Charlotte Locals if you would like to order, but don't want to pay shipping - I'll be placing a bulk order on February 25th - so e-mail me your order, or put it in the comments and I'll put it in for ya!
If you're not a coffee drinker, and would still like to help us meet our goal, your tax-deductible gift can be made out to Benham Foundation and sent to 8612 Oak Drive NE, Charlotte, NC 28269.  We appreciate any and all help we can get meeting our goal - big or small- it all helps!
We'd also love if you'd continue to stand beside us in prayer.  This month we are focusing on: praying for our relationships (with each other, and with God) that they will strengthen and that the Enemy will not be able to break us down; prayer that we won't let doubt creep in, but that we will continue to trust solely in God and stand firm on the promises He's made to us; prayer for miraculous gifts and generosity to pour in and prayer for favor as we purchase the tickets so that we can get a great price on them!
Lastly, if you know of anyone that is not on this list and would like to be, feel free to send me their e-mail and I'll add them in on the updates.  We need all the exposure we can get - we love raising awareness of what's going on in Africa and all that can be done to help!
Thank you so much for taking the time to stay connected with the vision we have for our family, if there's anything that we can be praying with you about, please let us know!  We'd love to support you/your family in prayer just as you're supporting us.
Until Next Time -
Amanda, Bill & Owen