Geography Lesson

'globe pencil sharpener' photo (c) 2008, fsse8info - license:

I’m very bad at geography. I don’t remember the capitals to all of the states in America. If someone asks me where a street is, in my neighborhood, I probably can’t tell them, even if I’ve driven on it numerous times. I get lost with my GPS.

So when Nicole Wick sent me this tweet:


I first had to go to Wikipedia to even find out where this “Moldova” place was.

It turns out, it’s a country in eastern Europe, between Ukraine and Romania. And in January, I’m going to go there.

I’m kind of freaking the hell out about this.

I’m heading to Moldova with a group from Children’s HopeChest. This is an organization that pairs one community with means with another community that has fewer resources. They partner online communities together with groups needing aid. They also have opportunities for churches to work with a specific orphanage overseas. It’s a unique way of offering help. I’m very interested in seeing that up close.

But as a part of this trip, I will be seeing not only poverty, but also abuses. We will be working with a safe house there. Because of the poverty, substance abuse is a major problem, which means that domestic abuse is also a high concern. One place where Moldova is thriving is in sex trafficking, so I will be spending time with women (and probably girls that should not be called women for a long time) who are escaping that.

I’m scared. How do I leave my family for that long and not even know if I can talk to them? How do I come back home from this and not be terrified for my kids? How do I record another light-hearted sex podcast after I’ve seen sex used in the worst possible way?

But not going seems even scarier. How can I know this opportunity is here to DO something and not at least try? How can I talk about love and friendship and then withhold it from someone who desperately needs it? If my actions don’t match my words, what am I doing here?

So I’m going.

But I cannot go alone. I need you. A lot. Here’s how you can help:

  1. Please pray. This is going to be emotionally challenging for everyone on the team. If you don’t pray, that’s totally okay, but please let me know that you’re thinking about our team. Emotional support during the next few months of getting ready is going to be huge.
  2. Please give. I so hate asking for money for myself, but yeah. I need $2500 to cover air-fare, ground fees, and stuff like a passport and immunizations. Check out the chip-in widget in the post and in the sidebar. Any amount that you can donate will be appreciated. Any money raised beyond my expenses will go directly to HopeChest, you have my word.
  3. Please share. I had never heard about HopeChest until Nicole tweeted at me. I would love for more people to know about the work that they are doing. Please let people know about the trip and about HopeChest. I’ve got lots of buttons down at the bottom of this post that make sharing super easy. And you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you so much for being such an amazing community. I could not and would not do this without you.

  • Sarah Askins

    So excited for you and yes, I will be praying for you too!

    • Alise Wright

      Thank you, Sarah! I’m very excited about it as well!

  • Kelly J Youngblood

    I would be scared too! I have never done anything like that, but I have a feeling at some point I will be going somewhere. I think God is using this time now to get me less scared and more willing to go somewhere :)

    • Alise Wright

      Yeah, as I close in on 40, it seems crazy to me that I’ve never done anything like this either, but here we go! And it definitely took a season of preparing to get to this place. I hope your prep time goes well!

  • Caris Adel

    Oh how exciting and terrifying Alise! What a great opportunity :) Praying!!!

    • Alise Wright

      Thanks Caris! I appreciate it!

  • mpt

    Yes. This is your calling, friend. This fits you perfectly. You’re a beautiful storyteller. Your heart is big and open and desires to help. God will use you, Alise.

    Fear not. God will use you.

    • Alise Wright

      Thanks so, so much, friend. I really appreciate that, especially coming from you. I hope I can do this justice.

  • Heidi

    Yay! HopeChest is great! My best friend and her church sponsor an orphanage in Russia through them, and she takes teams to visit them twice a year. I’m so excited you’re spreading the word about them, and I’m happy to help out with the prayers and the monies. Absolutely.

    • Alise Wright

      Thank you so much for your support. I so appreciate it!

  • Alece Ronzino

    “DO!” Woman, you inspire. Thank you for embodying what it means to live life with intentionality and purpose.

    • Alise Wright

      Thank you, Alece! Your push has meant a LOT to this happening.

  • Shawn Smucker

    I love Children’s Hopechest. Our church in Virginia partnered with them in sponsoring an orphanage. I can’t wait for you to go, and I can’t wait to read about it.

    • Alise Wright

      Thanks, Shawn! I figure I’ll be in touch with my friends who have done this regularly, so you know. Be ready.

  • Heather Bowie

    Yay – So excited for you even though, or course it’ll be scary too. Your voice will add so much. I’m looking forward to hearing about your journey and certainly learning more about this organization. Thanks for setting an example of being brave.