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Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I am going to Africa!

2008 was an incredible year for me. It started off with Nicki and I moving to Lincoln in order for Nicki to begin her Chiropractic career. In the midst of that, I found a job doing video production at a Rocklin based company. We thought we were about to soar. Unfortunately, just a few months in for both of us, it became readily apparent that neither Nicki's nor my job were what they were billed to be. Long story short, I ended up getting laid off in May, and Nicki quit that practice to move onto another in December.

Along the way, I had applied for over 52 jobs from May 3rd to July 11th. I applied for things I was qualified for, over qualified for, not that qualified for and everything else in-between. Not one of them replied to me. Nicki and I were pretty discouraged to say the least. Our bank account was negative, and our rent was due. Things were pretty bleak. But something happened on July 11th. I drove back to Fremont to get some financial help from my church that we attended while living in the bay area. I went to breakfast with the pastor, and had one of those life altering moments. Over the course of pancakes and a few beers (just kidding about the beers), I heard God speak to me. I called my wife and my mother to see if they were on the same page with what I heard God speak to me, and in fact they were. My wife and mother, both without prompting or baiting, said the same thing God said. I needed to realize my calling in life, and become a pastor.

I started attending William Jessup University in August, just 4 short miles from my house. Turns out there may have been other reasons Nicki and I chose to move here, even if it was unknown to us at the time. WJU is a 4 year Bible-based College. I am enrolled in the Pastoral program and in 3 years (because I already had a year of Junior College under my belt! Wooohooo!) I will have a bachelor's degree in Pastoral Ministry AND Bible/Theology. For the first time in my life I feel like I'm at the right place at the right time doing the right thing.
Another incredible thing that happened to me this year was the unexpected and unbelievable desire to go on a mission trip. I know, Ricky Borba, going on a mission trip. Who would have thought? I was sitting in our school's bi-weekly church service while running the sound and light board. A student came to the podium to speak about mission trips (a speech I've heard 1000 times before) and I felt moved. I was totally caught off guard, and before the 2009 mission trip locations were discussed, I again heard God speak to me. "Africa". Normally I would have had a little dialogue with God, like "Are you sure you have the right guy here? ME?" but I didn't. I felt like I was being called. And sure enough a few minutes later, Tanzania, Africa was put on the screen as one of the places our school was going.

So now I'm on this incredible journey before the journey, of getting everything in order so I can go to Africa and help out those in need. I want to be a light to those people, and to serve them the best way I can, for three weeks. I have no idea what and how God is going to use me for, but I know that I can't wait to get there and show Christ's love through my actions. I've never been the type of guy to get my hands dirty (I've never been a fan of the outdoors and I'm not the type of guy to work on cars and stuff) but for some reason, none of that matters when I think about doing a mission in Africa. I want to get filthy for the Tanzanians!

If you've read this far, I want you to know the reason I sent this letter to you is because I believe you can help support me in one of three ways, or possibly more.

The first way you can help is simply by praying. I need prayer for myself as I prepare for this incredible opportunity, I need prayer for my family as I will be leaving them for three weeks, I need prayer for finances so that I may go on this trip, I need prayer for me as I try to balance being a father, husband, student, employee and now mission trip attendee. Above any other need, I believe this is the most important way you can help me.

The second way you can help is by visiting my wife and kids if you live near my family. I'll be leaving for 3 weeks, so my hope is that some of you who live nearby can go to my house and visit, to keep all 3 of my girls company. It's hard enough raising two kids with two parents, and Nicki is going to be all on her own for 3 weeks. So if you live close to us, please give Nicki a call and check in on her. While in Africa, I will only have access to internet twice during the entire trip, and no access to a phone at any time. I would like to know that before I leave, some of you have committed to making sure my family will be alright.

Finally, I need your financial support. This trip is expensive. The amount to go is roughly $4000. The only way I'll be able to go is if God provides a financial way for that to happen, as Nicki and I simply do not have the funds to finance this ourselves. I want you to prayerfully consider donating (it's a tax write-off by the way!) I feel 100% certain that God wants me to go to Africa. There isn't any doubt in my mind. So please pray and consider whether or not you can help me out financially. If you can, and would like to, please click this link, which is a pdf file that you can print out and use to mail a check to the school. The amount you donate goes toward my "account". It's also tax refundable! (Don't write the check out to me though!!! Make it out to William Jessup University. All of the this info is on the form by the way) We are doing fundraisers and a couple of other things to raise money, but the primary source for everyone's funding is coming from this letter.

In closing, most of you know that this is extremely out of the ordinary for me, to travel and get my hands dirty. I can't even really explain it myself, but I heard a song that I think perfectly exemplifies how I feel about this mission trip. The song is called "Give Me Your Eyes" and it's about wanting to have the eyes of Jesus if only for a moment, to see the world as he sees it. Here is the chorus. I hope it inspires and touches you as it has me.

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see
posted by Ricky @ 5:59 PM  
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