In the last few days of 2013, J and I sat across from each other on our couch and talked about this year. We didn’t really know what 2014 would hold, which is pretty rare since we would normally have 10 things on the calendar by January 1st. (Our calendar now, however, is back to normal with most weekends for the next seven months accounted for.)
It was one of those good talks where you dream and make plans about the future loosely, knowing full well God may take us on a different journey.
We talked about the goals we had for the year. The trips we want to take. The friends we want to get together with. The family events we anticipate attending. The home projects we want to prioritize. And also the timing for when we want to start a family, and the things we want to do before then.
One of the things on my pre-baby bucket list is to go on a missions trip.
J and I have talked about going on a mission trip for the last few years, but it has never worked out with his limited vacation days. And with a few obligations on the horizon, it is unlikely he would be able to do a trip this year. During this conversation, however, he mentioned that I go on one this year by myself.
I went on a few missions trips in high school and college, and always enjoyed them. It was a chance to travel to different parts of the world and spend time with my friends. Oh, and help people. That was an fringe benefit.
I’ve changed a lot in the last ten years. God’s been doing a major work on my heart, altering my perspective on missions and grace and the poor and what my role is in all of it. It’s something I’m still navigating through, but the desire to get out of my Americanized bubble is strong.
For a long time, I thought of missions trips as something students do, not really working adults. Our church has certainly changed my attitude, with its mission-centric sermons and offering dozens of mission trips throughout the year for all generations.
Coincidentally, earlier in December I had looked at the trips that my church was organizing, but didn’t see any that resonated with me… mainly because I didn’t see a trip going to Haiti. And for some reason I really want to go to Haiti. I’m not sure why, but I have thought about Haiti a lot in the last few months.
After J suggested I go on a trip, just for kicks I pulled up the site to see what trips were on the horizon. Low and behold, there was a new trip listed going to Haiti in the spring. I started laughing. Wouldn’t that be an adventure! I emailed the leader of the trip to learn more about it. They still had room, and they needed more girls.
I made a pro/con list (naturally), prayed about it, and on our way back from Charlotte where we celebrated New Years, I decided to do it.
So, April 15th I will be heading to Haiti to help serve the people of Port au Prince. I don’t know any of the other team members and am not sure exactly what to expect, but I am so, so excited.