I'm Going to Africa!


“If you dream the impossible and reach for the stars, you may find God calling you from among them.”

Just over two weeks ago I started dreaming that “impossible dream”. I have been invited to go speak at the triennial of the Young Quaker Christian Association of Africa which includes facilitating programs and workshops. It began when on a seemingly typical morning two and a half weeks ago when my friend, John Lomuria, e-mailed me asking me what I thought about going to the triennial of the Young Quaker Christian Association of Africa that we had talked about when he was here in Oregon last April. I looked up the information online and was intrigued but a trip to Africa was definitely not part of the budget though it has been a long-time dream. Then quietly, God slipped a small piece of paper under my nose that simply said, “Susan Bax Foundation Grant”. A well-placed telephone call and I had the name of an additional grant to apply for. A day later, I found a third. Thus, the unbelievable, miraculous call of God for me to go to Africa began.

For two weeks, I wrote grant applications, met with a Clearness Committee to help me search out some questions, and talked about the trip with mentors and Friends who wrote letters of recommendation for me. I’ve considered my long-standing passion to be exposed to other cultures and to learn from them, my skills as a speaker and spiritual director, my openness, and experience with young adults through the Quaker Youth Book Project. Bainito Wamalwa sent a formal letter of invitation to speak and to be a workshop and program facilitator. Not yet knowing if I was going to be awarded any of the grants, I really need all three, I started turning my life inside-out so I could go. Things I was planning on doing such as taking an acting class and trying out for a play were off my schedule for financial and time reasons. This trip is that pearl of great price for which I am willing to let a lot of other things go and it has been a very interesting experience and lesson in faith and trust to let go of one thing without having something else to grab onto.

Then, this afternoon, I received word I have been awarded the second grant in addition to the first which will pay my airfare to and from Kenya. (I won’t hear about the third for several weeks and will be fundraising for the rest of the money I need.) It was the “go” signal I have been waiting for. This ministry has happened very quickly but I feel deeply called to go. God has opened this door and I am taking it with a full heart.

The other night I was talking with a missionary in Kenya and she asked me what I wanted to do or see besides the conference while I was there. I told her I wanted my western-culture blinders taken off. I want a larger view of the world, I want to see things as they really are. A wild elephant or two thrown in would also be fantastic.

I will be passing along details and other thoughts about the trip as I prepare. Things are going to be happening very fast from here on in, there is so much to plan. Luckily, I’ll have the help and support I need from people around the world and here at home.

I want to especially take the time to thank those of you who have made this trip possible either through your letters of recommendation, serving on the Clearness Committee, editing my applications, encouraging me, giving advice, and for donating funds to the trip before I even asked. I also want to thank those who had a particularly memorable reaction to my news when I told you. You know who you are.  You are extraordinary friends and I thank God for each and every one of you. THANK YOU ALL!!!

Questions:

Where are you going?

Kenya! I am flying into Nairobi and will be spending most of my time in Southern and Western Kenya.

When are you going?

I will be buying my plane tickets once we work on the itinerary a little more but right now it looks like I will be leaving around November 30th and getting back on December 20th. Yes, that is fast planning.

Are you traveling by yourself?

Yes, I will most likely be flying there and back by myself but while I am there, I will be guided by others who know the lay of the land. My pastor, Peggy, has informed me that while I am on the ministry portion of the trip, I will have what she calls “handlers”, people who will take very good care of me.

What will you be doing or speaking on?

I don’t have all the details yet as up until today, I couldn’t give a definite yes that I would be coming. I do know they are particularly interested in my talking to the women about being in ministry.

How are you paying for this trip?

I have thus far raised $2,275 out of the $3,915 I will need. Most of this is from the International Outreach Granting Group and Susan Bax Fund for women traveling in the ministry. I am saving everything I can as I will also be losing income while I’m gone and need to pay my bills in addition to paying for the trip. I am also asking friends and family to help or to donate finances instead of birthday or Christmas presents. (My 30th birthday is on November 16th.)

Are you going on safari while you’re there?

YES!!! Going on safari in Kenya has been one of my long standing items on my “I want to BLANK before I die” list. Thus, to celebrate my 30th birthday, I am going on a safari where I am REALLY hoping to see wild elephants. This will be an incredible experience! I am flying into Nairobi early and doing the safari before the conference so I can fully devote my time for the rest of the trip. After a lot of research, I have decided on a four day, three night camping safari. This will keep costs quite low and give me the experience I desire of being close to the earth as I sleep under the African stars. I have not decided on which company to go with yet. So instead of presents this year, I would love it if you would help me make my dream come true by helping with the cost of the safari or with the costs of things I’ll need for it. I think this will be my favorite birthday present ever. If you want to send a donation or gift, you can mail it to:

Sarah Katreen Hoggatt
PO Box 7522
Salem, OR 97303

Are you nervous?

I am a bit nervous but not for the reasons you would think, at least right now. The traveling I can handle. Come to think of it, all the shots I need also make me a bit nervous. Maybe nervous isn’t the best way to describe this. I am searching for the answer of what I will bring to fellow Friends there in Africa. I am going with a very teachable and open heart. I want to learn from them. From what I have seen and read thus far, they have an extraordinary faith. What I bring is a continual question I’ll be asking myself.

Would you write an article for my magazine or come speak at our group when you get back?

I haven’t been asked this one yet, but hope I will be. The answer is a very enthusiastic yes! Let me know what you have in mind and we can talk about it.


If you have any other questions, I am happy to answer them. Please leave a comment or contact me and I will reply back. Thank you for all your support as I take this next large step on my journey!

Sarah

365-09 #258

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Walking the Sea: I'm Going to Africa!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm Going to Africa!


“If you dream the impossible and reach for the stars, you may find God calling you from among them.”

Just over two weeks ago I started dreaming that “impossible dream”. I have been invited to go speak at the triennial of the Young Quaker Christian Association of Africa which includes facilitating programs and workshops. It began when on a seemingly typical morning two and a half weeks ago when my friend, John Lomuria, e-mailed me asking me what I thought about going to the triennial of the Young Quaker Christian Association of Africa that we had talked about when he was here in Oregon last April. I looked up the information online and was intrigued but a trip to Africa was definitely not part of the budget though it has been a long-time dream. Then quietly, God slipped a small piece of paper under my nose that simply said, “Susan Bax Foundation Grant”. A well-placed telephone call and I had the name of an additional grant to apply for. A day later, I found a third. Thus, the unbelievable, miraculous call of God for me to go to Africa began.

For two weeks, I wrote grant applications, met with a Clearness Committee to help me search out some questions, and talked about the trip with mentors and Friends who wrote letters of recommendation for me. I’ve considered my long-standing passion to be exposed to other cultures and to learn from them, my skills as a speaker and spiritual director, my openness, and experience with young adults through the Quaker Youth Book Project. Bainito Wamalwa sent a formal letter of invitation to speak and to be a workshop and program facilitator. Not yet knowing if I was going to be awarded any of the grants, I really need all three, I started turning my life inside-out so I could go. Things I was planning on doing such as taking an acting class and trying out for a play were off my schedule for financial and time reasons. This trip is that pearl of great price for which I am willing to let a lot of other things go and it has been a very interesting experience and lesson in faith and trust to let go of one thing without having something else to grab onto.

Then, this afternoon, I received word I have been awarded the second grant in addition to the first which will pay my airfare to and from Kenya. (I won’t hear about the third for several weeks and will be fundraising for the rest of the money I need.) It was the “go” signal I have been waiting for. This ministry has happened very quickly but I feel deeply called to go. God has opened this door and I am taking it with a full heart.

The other night I was talking with a missionary in Kenya and she asked me what I wanted to do or see besides the conference while I was there. I told her I wanted my western-culture blinders taken off. I want a larger view of the world, I want to see things as they really are. A wild elephant or two thrown in would also be fantastic.

I will be passing along details and other thoughts about the trip as I prepare. Things are going to be happening very fast from here on in, there is so much to plan. Luckily, I’ll have the help and support I need from people around the world and here at home.

I want to especially take the time to thank those of you who have made this trip possible either through your letters of recommendation, serving on the Clearness Committee, editing my applications, encouraging me, giving advice, and for donating funds to the trip before I even asked. I also want to thank those who had a particularly memorable reaction to my news when I told you. You know who you are.  You are extraordinary friends and I thank God for each and every one of you. THANK YOU ALL!!!

Questions:

Where are you going?

Kenya! I am flying into Nairobi and will be spending most of my time in Southern and Western Kenya.

When are you going?

I will be buying my plane tickets once we work on the itinerary a little more but right now it looks like I will be leaving around November 30th and getting back on December 20th. Yes, that is fast planning.

Are you traveling by yourself?

Yes, I will most likely be flying there and back by myself but while I am there, I will be guided by others who know the lay of the land. My pastor, Peggy, has informed me that while I am on the ministry portion of the trip, I will have what she calls “handlers”, people who will take very good care of me.

What will you be doing or speaking on?

I don’t have all the details yet as up until today, I couldn’t give a definite yes that I would be coming. I do know they are particularly interested in my talking to the women about being in ministry.

How are you paying for this trip?

I have thus far raised $2,275 out of the $3,915 I will need. Most of this is from the International Outreach Granting Group and Susan Bax Fund for women traveling in the ministry. I am saving everything I can as I will also be losing income while I’m gone and need to pay my bills in addition to paying for the trip. I am also asking friends and family to help or to donate finances instead of birthday or Christmas presents. (My 30th birthday is on November 16th.)

Are you going on safari while you’re there?

YES!!! Going on safari in Kenya has been one of my long standing items on my “I want to BLANK before I die” list. Thus, to celebrate my 30th birthday, I am going on a safari where I am REALLY hoping to see wild elephants. This will be an incredible experience! I am flying into Nairobi early and doing the safari before the conference so I can fully devote my time for the rest of the trip. After a lot of research, I have decided on a four day, three night camping safari. This will keep costs quite low and give me the experience I desire of being close to the earth as I sleep under the African stars. I have not decided on which company to go with yet. So instead of presents this year, I would love it if you would help me make my dream come true by helping with the cost of the safari or with the costs of things I’ll need for it. I think this will be my favorite birthday present ever. If you want to send a donation or gift, you can mail it to:

Sarah Katreen Hoggatt
PO Box 7522
Salem, OR 97303

Are you nervous?

I am a bit nervous but not for the reasons you would think, at least right now. The traveling I can handle. Come to think of it, all the shots I need also make me a bit nervous. Maybe nervous isn’t the best way to describe this. I am searching for the answer of what I will bring to fellow Friends there in Africa. I am going with a very teachable and open heart. I want to learn from them. From what I have seen and read thus far, they have an extraordinary faith. What I bring is a continual question I’ll be asking myself.

Would you write an article for my magazine or come speak at our group when you get back?

I haven’t been asked this one yet, but hope I will be. The answer is a very enthusiastic yes! Let me know what you have in mind and we can talk about it.


If you have any other questions, I am happy to answer them. Please leave a comment or contact me and I will reply back. Thank you for all your support as I take this next large step on my journey!

Sarah

365-09 #258

Labels: ,

4 Comments:

At September 18, 2009 at 5:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, Sarah
As I sit here and read what is going to be the best present ever I think wow. Then I think to myself you should have a papmered chef fundriaser party at your home the end of this month or in october to help you with your funds. I sell pampered Chef now how exciting is that let me know what you think Love Darla

 
At September 19, 2009 at 3:31 AM , Blogger Gil S said...

Hi Sarah, this is me trying once more to leave a comment!

What I wanted to say - apart from Wow How Amazing - was that I would love to give you a small donation but that international money transfer is difficult and expensive. I wanted to ask if you have, or would consider setting up, a Paypal account, which makes this sort of thing much easier?

All the best
Gil

 
At September 19, 2009 at 7:54 AM , Blogger Sarah Katreen Hoggatt said...

Hi Gil,
My friend, Emily, has been on me for many months to do precisely that. I do have a paypal account but don't use it. With you additional urging, I will now work on getting one up on the website. Thank you for the suggestion!

Sarah

 
At September 19, 2009 at 11:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How exciting for you. What a wonderful experience you will have. Yes, your life will be changed with the things that you are going to see and learn and what lovely people you will meet. Make sure your camera is in super working condition. We can't wait to see all the wonderful pictures and stories behind them after your return. Love Dad & Mom

 

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