" No one ever asked me how it felt to be me, but when I told the truth about that; I felt free!" -The Help

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

San Frantastico!!!

Check me out. I did it! I actually did it.  I drove 1300 miles in a mini-van caravan of 20 teenagers. Boo-ya! I know right?! Impressive.  I am sure you have all been waiting with baited breath for my San Francisco mission trip report. Lucky for you, my husband took both the boys to church tonight so I happen to have a moment or two to do just that.

It's so funny to me, (not HA HA funny but more like..man I am an idiot funny)  no matter how much I worry, fret, stew, loose sleep, cry, pray and waste time thinking about how bad something that God has called me to do is going to be, it never is.  I kind of think God has it easy with me. I mean, when I worry I don't weak sauce worry, I do it right! I worry that the worst case scenario will happen. You know, I will run out of gas in the middle of the desert with no cell service in 109 degree heat with no water and no food and the road will have closed so no one will be coming by for the next two days and I will die alone in a mini-van on my way to San Francisco with 5 teenagers.  Hmph!  Ya, Ya...I know, I have a small rather large and unrealistic worry problem.  The good news is, it gives God a lot of space to prove my worries illegitimate right? Well, that He sure did.

I am truly amazed at how close God was to me on this trip.  All my worries were non-issues.  Of course there were the issues I hadn't even thought of before I left, but whatever. Most of those ended up being fairly painless as well.  My biggest fear was leaving my boys. Ends up, they had a fabulous time while we were gone. They were loved on, hugged on, spoiled and well taken care of! I am telling you, being in ministry is simply not possibly without the support of family and friends who are willing to love your kids. Can I get an Amen?! 

We spent a lot of time NOT sleeping on this trip.  Each day we got up at 5:45 am and didn't get to bed until after 11:00pm.  We spent time serving at food banks, sorting clothes, delivering food to AIDS patients, getting to know some of the homeless in the city and playing with children whose home lives are rough.  We talked about the difference between being HOUSEless and HOMEless.  We talked about how the single biggest key to success in a child's life is where they live (or don't live).  We talked about how people are people and moms are moms wherever you go.  We talked about how everyone, regardless of their situation has a longing for love.  We talked about how there are millions of people who give their time every day to be Jesus to people who desperately need Him. Most importantly, we talked about how WE CAN be Jesus to people in our own little worlds.  

I'm sure  I hope to get around to telling you the millions of individual stories of God's amazing Grace that were so evident last week in San Francisco.  For now, I will simply and confidently say...God is alive, active and working in the city of San Francisco! What an honor it was to be a tiny part of the Ministry that He has in a city that desperately needs the love of Jesus!  San Francisco will forever have a place in my heart, and as my favorite city host Ryan says..I love San Frantastico!!! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mission Trip Swan Song

Well, here we are.  The day before we leave on the teen mission trip. Guess what?! yours truly is going as an "adult" sponsor.  I guess I am technically an adult but it sure does makes me sound old and boring.   Maybe I am old and boring, it's hard to tell these days.

I dug out my trusty "mission trip" backpack that I purchased at REI 10 years ago for all the mission trips I would be going on with our ministry.  I used that thing a lot, until 6 years ago.  The last mission trip I went on was with students to Taipei, Taiwan.  The trip of a lifetime. I will never forget it.  Apparently I did forget something though...to clean out my backpack after the trip.  So, today I found the backpack and began cleaning it out.  Nbd, just so old kleenexes, a box of playing cards, some hand sanitizer, some packs of powdered propel (that expired in 2007),  and several gum wrappers.  As I cleaned it out, several memories came back to me.  Man, I have had a lot of great times on mission trips with students.  From Mexico to Taiwan and everywhere in between.

Can I just be honest?  I am nervous.  I am nervous to be around students again 24/7 for a week. I am nervous I am going to have a mental breakdown after only the 2nd round of 99 bottles of (root)beer on the wall. I am nervous that 12 hours in the van is going to do this "adult" in.  I am nervous to leave my boys for a week.  They are going to be left with the most amazing sister-in-law who loves them like her own and I know they will be spoiled, but I will miss them terribly.  I am nervous that one of them will skin their knee or miss their mamma and I won't be there to comfort them. I am feel like a bad mom for leaving them for so long.  Hmph! Remember when I told you have I have a real anxiety issue?

So,  you might be asking yourself, why in the world is this crazy woman going if she is so nervous about it all?! I am going because I know I need to.  It's time for me to get out of my Subaru driving, col-de-sac living world and do something for someone else.  It's time for me to once again give my time and energy to something other than my own little world.  And so, here I go.  This trip is a special one for my husband and I. It is the last trip we will be going on with students where we aren't expected to go.  My husband's role has changed at our church recently and he is no longer the "youth pastor".
While I am nervous about so many aspects of this trip I am honored and humbled to be part of this team.  This trip is a "swan song" of sorts for us. It's hard to believe this time of our lives has come to an end.  While we will still be at the same church, my husband will no longer be responsible for the mission trips.  If either of us wants to be an "adult" sponsor again we will technically need to be asked. Although, I bet we could pull a few strings :)  It is a strange feeling on the day before we leave on possibly our last mission trip with students in a long time.  This is the final song of our album titled "mission trips".  I am hoping there is a hidden track somewhere that might allow us to be a part of a journey like this again.