I’m not someone who has always dreamed of traveling. We live in beautiful Michigan, so when my husband points to this place or that place on a map, I just say, “But Michigan is so pretty in the summer (or fall… or winter… or spring…). We could just stay here.”

We often did “staycations” when the kids were young. Here I shared my 8 top reasons for staying home on spring break. Here I even made up staycation rules. You only make up rules if you’re pretty good at something, and I have been pretty good at staying home for most of my life.

But in early 2019, my friend “S” got in touch with me and asked if I would consider coming to speak at a women’s retreat she was planning. S lives in the Middle East, so this wasn’t a normal speaking request. But as we chatted on skype, I thought of something. My friend “K” had contacted me with a similar request. K also lives in the Middle East, but in a different country. I had penciled K’s request in very, very lightly. I really didn’t think God would send me there.

But when I looked up K’s request and saw that the two retreats were one weekend apart. I thought, “Um… Okay, God. I’m listening…”

Oh the Places…

The Dr. Seuss book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” starts off this way:

“Congratulations, today is your day.
You’re off to great places. You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes,
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

It’s true. We all get to choose our direction. As followers of Jesus, we choose whether we will follow when he says, “This way!” For me, saying YES to this Middle East trip is all about letting Jesus choose my direction.

Friends, I have brains in my head and feet in my shoes, plus Jesus directing my steps – and I’m choosing to make a ministry trip to the MIDDLE EAST!

I’ll be sharing my Control Girl to Jesus Girl message at two women’s retreats in two different countries, on back-to-back weekends. Thankfully, my husband is taking the time off work to come with me. We leave October 27, and will be gone for two weeks.

Honestly, this trip will stretch me in several ways: PHYSICALLY (I’m not sure how I’ll respond to jet lag – but we added a few days before I speak to the trip so I have time to adjust), SPIRITUALLY (I’m quite sure the enemy is not pleased) and FINANCIALLY (we have two kids in college right now, and this trip is a “volunteer” opportunity).

Yet I want to serve the Lord and go where he leads. And I want to learn the lessons he has for me. I’m so excited to meet these women who live in another culture, and have my understanding of a God who loves women world-wide expanded. I can’t wait to share with you all that I have learned!

Want to Come?

I wish I could offer you a seat beside me! But I can offer you a partnership. I commit to you that I will go on this trip with an open heart – ready to pour out what God has been teaching me about control, and ready to learn what God has for me as I interact within another culture. If you’d like to support me in this venture, please visit my fundraising page here:

Fundraising Site

And if you’d like to be part of the group praying me through this trip, send me your email (mine is shannon@shannonpopkin.com)! I’ll be sharing more details with that group of praying friends.

Thanks for your encouragement and support!

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