Great things are happening!! I now have my official dates! It's becoming so very real! I will leave March 17, 2015 to drive down to Mexico. I'll take several days to drive down to Mexico, stopping in the Memphis, TN area to meet up with and see my sister and niece one last time. It's about a 24 hour drive total, so I'll drive that over 3 days with some stops along the way. I hope to arrive in Piedras Negras on March 20th. Then my official start of service date in Mexico is March 21st! That's just 49 days away, and I know it will fly by.
Additionally the site for online giving of financial support is now functioning. However it's at a different web address than I previously had. It's at this site now: Donate here (or https://secure3.convio.net/gbgm/site/SPageNavigator/gbgm_donate.html?type=1001&project=982465 ). Once there, click on the "Use for the Individual Volunteer Program" drop down menu at the top, and then select "LaFrance, Laurel". This can be used for one-time or recurring donations. Thank you for considering to support me financially in this journey!!
God has blessed me so much through generous donors, and I'm already at just over 88% of my fundraising (whether through actual donations and/or pledges)! I have three more churches lined up to speak to in February, and I am continuing to leave things in God's hands. But I truly believe that, if it is His will, He will help me reach 100% of my funding through pledges and donations by my leave date. It's amazing how God is calling others and using them to help support me on this journey; I am so very grateful and humbled!
I got completely moved out of my apartment this past week. Now I'm working on sorting some things to figure out what will be stored while I'm gone, what I'm taking with me to Mexico, and if there are more things I can donate. I feel like I donated, sold, and threw away nearly as much as I kept, which is both refreshing and a little overwhelming at times too. But it's good to share with others and to be free of some things I can live without!
Finally, I found out there will be another college-aged man from Ohio serving at the orphanage from about February 15th through April 15th this year. And I know we have a high school girl from my church who plans to go down for about 5 weeks this summer as well. I'm so excited that the orphanage is getting some additional help and people to love on all the kiddos there!