Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Let the wild rumpus begin!"

It is with much joy and thankfulness that I announce that I am fully funded for my upcoming trip to Haiti.

I am completely speechless that it happened in such a short span of time.

However, if you were planning on sending support and haven't gotten to it yet, there is still need.

All extra support from my trip will be spent towards purchasing school supplies for the mission.

You may also donate supplies for us to pack to take down.

Items to be collected:

Lined Paper
Lined Spiral Bound Notebooks
Gauze Bandages
Adhesive Tape
Iodine Ointment
Vitamins (Children, Pre-Natal, Adult)
Hair Clips
Small toys (cars, cards, small balls)

We also have a great need for old suitcases.

Please feel free to contact me for any details about donating items.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mustard Seeds

I am currently taking a class at church on Spiritual Gifts. I figured that sarcasm is only just starting to be recognized as one so I should probably learn what mine really is.

Based on the test mine is Faith.

I am still struggling with this revelation.

In my mind, my faith is small. Like when God told me to go to Haiti for 6 weeks. And I thought "uh yeah... right."

And when God is telling me to go to Port au Prince with a church that I don't know anyone at for a week.

And when I am a junior in college and it's a month before the trip and my car bites the dust and I don't have much money raised.

I am looking up at God going.. really??

Then God reminds me not to put Him in a box. He reminds me that He gives me grace when my mind takes over my thoughts and I begin to think rationally about things.

Because... let's be honest... not sending out letters asking for support and posting a couple times about it. And then getting desperate and being completely honest about it all... I wasn't REALLY trusting God by doing all of that. I was thinking "okay, say something to make people understand that you need money to go. like this is not a drill. we are talking you are committed and you owe this money no matter what and and and"

But then God tells me to be quiet. He tells me not to worry because His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He gives me grace. He gives me emails from people who have committed money. He surrounds me with people who pray for me continually for the needs that I have. He gives me what I don't deserve. Especially because I think rationally and do too much math.

God leaves me today with a total of $175 that I have left to raise. $175 until I am fully completely totally funded.

So maybe I need to start relying on my spiritual gift of faith some more.. because if we are told to have the faith of a mustard seed (Matt 17:20), then I guess I should have the faith of peppercorn.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Money: the Break Down.

As a Christian, I whole heartedly believe that the money that I have is not mine. It was "loaned" to me by God for me to be able to live and follow His callings.

Because of this, I believe that when I give money to someone or an organization I like to be informed about how that money is going to be used. (This applies to donations to people, charitable organizations, and companies that promise to use money charitably: TOMS, Warby Parker, BeadforLife, etc)

So, with that belief in mind, I have decided to carefully explain how all the money that has been donated to me, and will be donated to me, will be used.

The total cost of the trip is $1,150. The payment dates are 50% by January 29th and 50% by February 19th.
This amount is broken down into the following components...

Airfare: $625
Room, board, and transportation in Haiti: $210, or $30 per day
Overnight lodging in Pittsburgh: $40
Traveler's Insurance: $25
Miscellaneous costs: $250

In addition to these travel costs, I will also need to pay for my Chloroquin prescription and a round of Cipro to take in case of Haitian Happiness (my favorite!). I am ESTIMATING these to cost between $50 and $100.

Additionally I wish to take down $100 worth of school supplies.

So far a total of $550 has been raised towards my trip.

This money has been set aside as follows:

$100 Deposit
$250 towards Airfare
$100 towards prescriptions
$100 towards school supplies.

This still leaves me about $800 left to be raised. 

This number does cause me anxiety at times, but as I was driving to the gym this morning and talking with God about my anxiety He reminded me of the time when Joshua was told to walk around Jericho and Joshua had no clue how things were going to turn out. Or when Jesus tells us not to worry about what we will eat or drink or wear because God takes care of the sparrows and we are worth more than many sparrows.

If you would like to contribute to my trip, please use the ChipIn box to left (or click the link) to donate securely through your credit card or PayPal account. Or you can send a check to

Church of the Cross
5901 Millfair Road
Erie, PA 16415

If you decide to send a check, you must include my name on the Memo line (Katie Jobczynski) and a note that indicates that it is for my Haiti trip. By sending a check you will receive a tax deductible for giving to a Non-Profit Organization.

I am going to end this with of my recently favorite verses from Habakkuk. This verse is taken from the context of the prophet Habakkuk crying out to the Lord for deliverance from the miseries of injustice all around in the land of Israel, the Lord replies to Habakkuk's cries...

"Look at the nations and watch --
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe
even if you were told."
 -- Habakkuk 1:5

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lost, Found, and Generalities.

So today I sent in my final confirmation that I will be going to Haiti.

But with me nothing is that easy.

In order to send in my final confirmation, I had to send in my name as it appears on my passport and birthday. I'm brilliant and was 100% positive that under name it would say "Katie Lynn Jobczynski" and under birthday "February 25, 1992" but being myself I wanted to make absolutely sure of that. So I went to obtain my passport from the proper spot and it... wasn't... there. At first I laughed about it. Mostly because of the ridiculousness of getting my Passport in 2011.. when I lost my social security card. But then I started to panic.

I went through the appropriate 7 Stages of Grief. With far less expletives than our giraffe friend above did.

And prayed the whole time for God to open my eyes as to where my Passport was. So while I was going through the third storage container under my bed, I stumbled across my old camera bag. This reminded me of how I put my Passport in my new camera bag.

And wouldn't you know. There was my Passport.

So, it's all official. Port au Prince, here I come.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Gressier, Haiti

Today is the third anniversary of the 2010 earthquake that destroyed most of the southeastern part of Haiti. 357, 785 people still live in tent cities in Port au Prince. There are still homes to be built and lives to be restored.

 I thought traveling to Cap Haitien would be a dream come true. To live life with some of the poorest people in the Western Hemisphere. And, don't get me wrong, it definitely was. But God has called me to go farther. God has graciously provided me with the opportunity to travel to a village not far from Port au Prince called Gressier. I will be working at a mission called Christianville. And my heart is overjoyed.
This experience will be much different from my prior experience as I will be going with a mission team. Our task will be to paint the school located in the mission and possibly travel to a mountain church in Bel Air. Bel Air is part of Port au Prince's slum and it was one of the most heavily damaged areas after the earthquake. Rebuilding a church in this area is significant, even more significant is rebuilding one up in the mountains of this area. Culturally, construction is looked down upon in terms of position. And supplies are costly to be able to rebuild. When you take into account that this is also in a mountain where people are poor and isolated, it means that much more to see a "blanc" helping. I am praying that I will be of use in some way in the clinic because I do have some prior experience filling prescriptions and reading French scripts. I also pray that we will be able to talk with the people in the villages, especially children.

 During this experience I will NOT be at a school everyday, I will NOT be teaching, and I will only be there for seven incredibly short days. I will be serving through my hands and feet. I am an unsure of how specifically Christ will use me, but I am filled with certainty that He will. Through this experience I will be able to live next to people who's homes were destroyed, who know people who were injured or killed, and to spread God's pure hope and light to the darkest corners of souls. I will be able to tell children that "Bondye renmen ou" as I sing and play and brush dirt off of their faces.

 I know this will all happen, because I am confident that God will provide the means for me to travel to Haiti. I am about $1,000 short for my trip, but God knows where the money will come from. I am confident even that He will provide more money than I actually need. So I am planning on once again taking a suit case filled with school supplies down. Christianville runs a school sponsorship program for students. Through this sponsorship program students are able to receive school supplies and their tuition is paid for. But there is still always a great need. What if for one month, instead of the students getting new pencils and paper and erasers.. they were able to receive a vaccination against a preventable disease like Hepatitis? Or they were able to receive the means to drink clean water preventing water born diseases like Typhoid or Cholera or gastrointestinal parasites that can be cured with one simple Albendazole? Imagine what that will look like?

 In America flu season this year is very serious. Children are getting very sick with fevers. But we have prescriptions that are cheap and vaccinations to prevent it entirely. Imagine living in a place where every single day there is a risk of Malaria from the bugs around you, Cholera from the water you drink, Hepatitis from the streets you walk. None of these things exist in America, we can't comprehend it. But we do understand what children who are sick with influenza looks like. Imagine what it would look like if money was spent instead on preventing these 100% preventable diseases rather than school supplies because they have already been donated.

 I'm dreaming big for 168 hours.