My dad is in Costa Rica as I write this. I’m a little bit bummed to be stuck here in cold, grey Virginia while he’s in one of my favorite places in the world! I drew pictures for my Costa Rica friends and sent them down with him, but I only wish I could be there to see the looks on my friends’ faces when they open their envelopes.
Great things are going to happen while he’s there this week. He went down for planning and meetings and all that “pastory” stuff, but I know that while he’s there he will also be strengthening the relationships we’ve formed in the past. Relationships are so important to me and to every member of our foreign missions team.
I was asked to describe my most recent trip in two words: A “before” word and an “after” word. Now, let me tell you, it was so hard to describe everything that went on physically, emotionally, and Spiritually, using only two words (I’m writing it all down–so far it’s taken up almost 40 pages and it’s not even done yet!) but finally I was able to narrow it down and pick my two: Labor and Love.
I chose Labor for my before word because I went to Costa Rica expecting to do hard work, to serve and help and fix stuff and paint stuff and build stuff. After all, that’s what I did on my previous trips–arrived, did some work, and went home. And it’s not like I really minded terribly, you know. It was still fun and I still grew closer to the Lord and brought others to him and all that stuff you expect to do on a mission trip, but I just don’t feel like I left a lasting impression. So because of my experiences in the past, I expected this trip to be no different.
However, that wasn’t the case! I chose Love for my after word because although I did some physical work on my trip in August, what’s more important is that I made friends and had fun and prayed for people. I comforted people. I listened and talked and tried to put myself in their shoes. I loved others and received love in return. I had fun, I came out of my shell, I felt like every second of my time and every ounce of my effort made a difference. I forged lasting relationships and had experiences that I’ll never forget!