With Love, From Istanbul.

The adventure has begun!

[ I am traveling with Food For The Hungry to Dhaka, Bangladesh with Max, Daniel, Lindsey, Logan, and Joy. You can read about the birth of this trip here and you can follow our trip page here. You can also follow the hashtag #fhbloggers on Twitter and Instagram and see all the massive amounts of photos & updates we’re sharing! ]

I write to you from a corner of the Istanbul International Airport, up against a wall plastered in DUTY FREE signs and advertisements by Gucci, Boss, and of course, Starbucks.

It’s a little surreal to know that you’ve just flown to the other side of the planet and yet as an English speaking person, even Istanbul feels like just another airport. My language is on nearly everything. I am privileged, and keenly aware that I did not choose this life for myself. The American dream lives, sleeps, and breathes all over the world – even though, as our Romanian neighbor told us Tuesday, “This is no better than where I come from. This dream seems glorious, but no. Now that I am here, I see it is the same. And the hardships are even greater. My home is better than all of this.”

My greatest complaint of the last 16 hours is that my husband didn’t have quite enough leg room for his 6’2″ self on this aircraft that spanned 9 seats and 2 aisles across.

My second complaint is that I haven’t a clue what time it is for my body, for this airport, or for where I am headed. I left LAX on Thursday evening, and will arrive in Dhaka on Saturday morning. I hope you all enjoyed Friday, because it was just removed from my life.

But seriously. I really, really missed this part of traveling that I grew accustomed to while road-tripping with Max for 7 months last year. I missed the harsh reminder that time is an false safety net against a wasted or uncontrolled life; it simply exists so that not everything happens all at once. I am thankful to remember again that I hold no ability to measure my life, but only to choose well and full in the moment.

We have 2 hours until we board our second plane, a 7 hour flight into Dhaka. I have crayons, pretty paper, and elaborate sticker books tucked into my bag that I will hand to a little girl named Kajol in a few short days. She is 6 years old and lives in a small town outside of Dhaka. In a tiny shanty made of bamboo and tin, I’m told. This is the second time this week I will hand a small token of love and care to a human being who will experience life on Planet Earth in a way utterly incomparable to mine. I will be speechless again, I am sure, as I silently ask God how his heart can withstand a universe of compassion packed within it.

But for now now, I must go find my gate, and get some people watching in. 🙂

A little note: If you also want to sponsor a girl from Bangladesh, please do. The average daily income there is $1.20 USD, and our pocket change is their life. Just click the image below.

we purchased target’s entire travel section in prep for our first international trip, hah.

max having a rough time during hour 12

the crew, minus max & i!


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  1. Lauren Jean says:

    So exciting! I, and I’m sure several others are praying for you guys. Can’t wait to read all about the amazing things that God has done in and through you all. Enjoy the time you do have, because it’s gonna fly by!

  2. Ashlee says:

    I’m so excited for you. I know God will use this amazing opportunity to mold and shape your heart into a person who loves others even more deeply than you already do.

  3. Nick Edwards says:

    I AM SO EXCITED — Thanks for the update to all of us Lauren. I cannot wait to hear more about this adventure!
    Give Max hugs and <3 for me.

  4. Barbara Shaw says:

    So excited to hear what Gos has in store for you guys…Praying for you all…

  5. Love the pictures! I spent many hours in the Istanbul airport during the four years I lived in Turkey.

    Can’t wait to hear more about your trip!

    Briana C.

    P.S. Turkish Airlines has the best food!

  6. Chantelle says:

    Bless your soul! Good luck you two. Stay safe.

  7. Hope says:

    I hope this trips gives you more than you were expecting.

  8. Alessia says:

    I hope you enjoyed flying over my head on your way to the old continent and I wish you all the best for this trip. I’m sure it will be a blessed opportunity of growth and you’ll make just the right use of it.

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