Just popping on here with a quick little update to let you all know some real cool things.
1. I’m going to Contonou, Benin, Africa!!!
2. I’m super excited!!
3. I wish I had of payed more attention during French class!
Benin is a tiny little country in West Africa that has managed to capture a portion of my heart the last few weeks. One day some friends and I we’re having a conversation and they invite me to join them on a 2 week trip to Benin, Africa to hang out with kiddos & love & serve them!
I couldn’t have been more excited about the opportunity & I decided to jump on it. A month later, I am sitting here to bring you the news that all the paperwork is filled out & I am so ready for this.
Here’s the story: While I was at the wedding back in Canada, I was able to hang out with some old family friends who I completely adore. This couple, Don & Erin, had been missionaries in Benin, Africa where Don was born and raised. (Did we catch all that? Good.) It’s a french speaking, really tiny country in the corner of the content. with a mission organization called SIM (which i will talk more about in a second). And when Don met Erin back in Canada at Bible school.. the two of them got married and moved to Benin for full-time ministry. After tragedy struck their family & they buried their little boy in Benin, Don and Erin followed a prompting by the Lord to return to Canada.
Benin is still very much on the hearts and lives of the Longworth family, though. That is why Don & his father, under SIM, are leading a team to go back to Benin. And they are bringing their oldest girl, Mahayla (10yrs old) as well!!
Don and Erin were talking to some of us about this trip, and sharing their hearts around it a little bit. And when Don mentioned how they were looking for a couple more team members, but the deadlines were coming up as this trip begins the end of August. I piped up with my spontaneous little voice and said “well, I live in the UK, so basically I’m already halfway there. If you’d like me to join, I’d love to come!”
& the rest is history.
Below is a little bit more insight into the trip — what it will look like & what I’m trusting God for.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING? I will be working with a team of people who love Jesus & who love kids to put on VBS-like events for children who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. So very often children who have this diagnosis are rejected within their communities. The goal of this trip is to allow these children to make friends, to be loved, and most importantly — to encounter Jesus Christ.
WILL I BE GONE FOREVER?! It’s safe to say unfortunately not. Someday I might be called into full-time ministry in Africa.. but not right now haha. This trip is for 2 weeks! August 29th – September 11th. I am beyond excited!
SIM? Serving In Mission. SIM is a global mission organization that sends missionaries to the ends of the earth “Serving Where Christ is Least Known” is their motto. I have many highly respected friends who are working with / have worked within this organization. SIM values excellence in all they do, to effectively preach the gospel and reach the globe with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I cannot wait to be a small part of this!
WHAT AM I LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST? Hanging out with kiddos. Literally I will sing and dance and laugh and cry and pray with them all day every day for hours and hours & that makes my heart so excited.
WHAT AM I LEAST EXCITED FOR? Honestly, spiders. I’ve always been fortunate enough to live in places that don’t have deadly critters that just might show up in your shoes.. so I will be following every safety precaution because I do not want to die.
Okay.. so that’s all super fun. Yes. I’m going to Africa. There are three ways I am asking for support!
** another side notation; I very much appreciate you. I don’t take your time and resources lightly. And as a token of said appreciation, I will be mailing out letters to all my supporters. (I know, more words from Abby! Who doesn’t want that?!) I will include some fun facts about Benin & other fun surprises, so I’d jump on that bandwagon ASAP;) But please let me know if you’re praying for me, or giving towards the trip. All you’ve gotta do is let me know how you’re choosing to support me and shoot me an email with your mailing address!
Firstly; your words. I would love to hear from you. If you’ve ever been to Africa, or ever desired to go. If you have any good stories or cool friends from Africa, let me hear it! I wanna know.
Secondly; I need y’all to pray about this. And I mean please get on your knees when you’re done reading this and PRAY. Please hold a spot in your time with the Father each day to pray for me. And I say please do this first because as much as I appreciate your words of encouragement and your finical support, prayers are simply just much more powerful than any of that.
Here’s what I am SPECIFICALLY requesting prayers for:
1. For the team: Janice. Heather. Don. Jim. Mahayla. And myself. pray that in these next weeks leading up to us jumping on airplanes, that we will…
Be healthy & safe. this will not only allow for travelling to go well, but for us to maximize the opportunity we will have in Benin.
Be spiritually prepared for whatever it is that we are about to encounter. I believe we’re about to step onto a battleground for a spiritual battle. Those are won first and foremost on our knees.
Have all the funding / resources we’ll need for flights, vaccinations, supplies, the unexpected, everything
2. Pray for the kiddos / families we have the opportunity to minister to, that they will..
– Hear & understand the gospel. Benin is a French-speaking country, and although I grew up in a bilingual province.. French is not my thing. So pray that God will speak to them, because really, I can’t.
– Be loved and know true love. This is one of the biggest prayers of my heart in leading up to this trip. My prayer is they will learn how to be loved by God and learn how to love him back. This will transform the way they love themselves, as well as each other. This is the deepest prayer of my heart, so I ask you would join me in this, if nothing else.
3. Pray that I will..
– Have peace about the funding I need for the trip. Money is the biggest burden on my heart over this trip right now, and I don’t believe it was ever designed to be that way. When Jesus said “Go into the world and preach the gospel” He did NOT say “Before you go into the world and preach the gospel, please pray that you will have all the resources you will need, because that might be an issue”. Heck no. Jesus just said go. And I just said “Lord, send me”. And He just said “GO”. So forgive me, however I am in need of peace that passes my understanding over this.
– Be safe. Benin is such a cool country. But man are their some deadly critters around there. Pray so that no harm does happen. Although the medical insurance is paid for & the vaccinations have started, I don’t want to be naïve to the danger. However I don’t want to live in fear of it, either. I know that when we join together in prayer, powerful things happen. So I ask you to pray for safety.
Thirdly; Here’s the best part.. the money chat.
Yes. I will need help to get there. To be 100% honest, in so many ways I wish I had of known that this trip was going to come up. I would’ve planned my money differently & not needed to be in the position of asking for help.. But maybe financial vulnerability is probably good for me & just maybe God knew what He was doing;) So as a result, I do need help to afford this trip.
The total cost of the trip is $2500.00 CAD / £1450.00 GBP
I feel a little bit sick when I look at those numbers, which is totally ridiculous because I know that God can handle it, very quickly.
I would like to ask you to consider donating to the cost of the trip. If you would like to do that, there are several different ways you can do that.
Please keep in mind that no donation is too little. When I was a kid, I would give my $5 bills to missionaries. And I thought it was the sun & the moon & the stars. It really wasn’t, but it was my faith that moved the mountains. So it did matter. It did count. It added up and it amount to something. I desperately don’t want you to feel scared to drop even $5 in the basket if that is on your heart. Or don’t even make it an even number if you don’t wanna. If you’re more comfortable with £7 than you are with £10… then by all means.
Whatever you’re situation, I want you be encouraged that this IS an encouragement for me. I appreciate your heart, if you do so choose to give.
Canadian friends! (Love you guys!)
Here are the steps to donating online:
Follow this link https://www.sim.ca/missionaries/unlisted-missionary
Enter any donation amount
Under “name/number” you will write: Abby McQuarrie / 049306
Click “Add to Basket”
Complete the secure Visa form while following the on-screen instructions.
UK friends! (Love you guys, too! Shout-out to y’all!)
Please just notify me, and I will give you the account information to sponsor me from SIM UK!
* There is also a way to donate through the post, however SIM has encouraged donations for this trip to cease through the mail due to the short amount of time there is left before the trip, and in case anything happens, they don’t want to risk this.
** BUT! If you do wish to send donations through the mail regardless, please just contact me and I will give you all the deets!
Thank you for being with me on this adventure, I cannot wait. I literally could not be more excited, I don’t think! Here’s to whatever it is God is about to do in Benin!