Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Part 1: A Mission of Laughter and Tears

Well, here I go!! I am finally blogging about my trip to the Galilean Children’s Home! I know there have been many of you who have been eager to hear all about it (just as I have been eager to talk about it!). Though, there’s just so much that I want to say that it’s impossible to share it all! I had wanted to take a notebook with me, so I could write down some stuff here and there, but I forgot to bring one. I took that as a hint from God to just be present and not to think too much (which is one of my frequent prayers anyways!). What He wants me to share will be brought to my mind. Some stuff is meant for sharing, and other things are just for me and God in my own journey. What speaks to me may not necessarily be meant for someone (or everyone) else. He speaks personally to everyone in different ways. I trust that I don’t have to share every single “lesson” I learn, because He will impart the same lessons to everyone in His own timing - in whatever form He chooses. Maybe now, it will start getting easier for me to blog without being too explanatory and extensive (though, don’t hold your breath!). This is one “lesson” that will probably still take time for me to learn. ;) And, there’s a “time for everything.” Short and sweet is nice, but sometimes, it’s good to say a little more; and maybe that’s just “me”… gifting and my style. Love it or hate it, “that’s how I roll”. Ha ha!

Anyways, there was a lot of things I experienced and hid in my heart this past week (and I do want to share the variety of different things that I experienced and learned). Therefore, I am breaking it down day by day in a blog series so that everything isn’t in one never-ending blog lol. I’ll start with Sunday, the day we left (and I‘ve included some pictures in the mix. To see more, just ask - or check them out on Facebook or Myspace):

This was my first mission trip. I was a little unsure about what to think or expect. In fact, the night before, I jokingly asked if Mitch wanted to go instead lol. But, I knew that deep down, I needed to go. Ever since I had known about this particular mission trip, I knew that it was something I could (and should) do. Some of it was the fact that I always wanted to be able to say that I have gone on at least one, but I knew that God’s purposes were far greater than something on my checklist. I had the sense that this would change me in ways that I desperately needed. I just didn’t know how. Change can be scary, but one has to trust God with all those “hows.”

I tried to remember just how good the trip would be as we packed up and got ready to leave. The past couple days had been a little rough. Satan always assaults you when he knows God is going to do something big! The whole thing was out of my comfort zone (all the more reason to leave!). It’s good to break out of those zones - even if it means leaving your kids for a whole week (for the first time!). That was the main reason I was crying in the parking lot. ;)

The upside is, God always knows how to usher in some comic relief and get things going in the right direction! It was then that Maggie found something in the parking lot. It was a nut that looked like a little monkey face. We decided that this orphaned little thing would be ours; and our official “mascot” of sorts. The only name that really came to my mind when we were naming him was “Norman.” So, that is what we called him lol!! Norman brought a smile to my face and helped escort me into “fun mode.” Maggie and I had lots of laughs on our trip down there (and some where at Phil’s expense as well - you’d have to know Phil to understand! LOL).

We arrived in Liberty in good time (with how fast Lincoln drives, how could we not? Lol). We ate at Lee’s Chicken where Maggie spotted the monkey machine. And, after much work, we finally got the thing to accept our quarters so we could get Norman a family. Oh, such fun in so little time!! Ha ha!! Could it get any better?!

I was hoping for a lot more fun and adventures throughout the week as we left the restaurant and made our way to our final destination. I remember thinking, “this place is really out in the boonies!” We really had to wind around a lot of hills to get there! And, when we arrived, it was bigger and grander than I expected!! I had no idea the place was so huge (and nearly secluded - like Heidi’s grandfather’s hut on a mountaintop lol).

Maggie and I stayed at the Mary & Martha house where many of the volunteers stay. I noticed right off the bat how calm and quiet things were (and that there was no TV in there). Not that I wasn’t thrilled, but it was just odd. I think most of us forget what peace and quiet is like. There is noise of every kind in our life; whether literal or metaphorical. No TV, or distractions of that sort, is nice. Though, even a good adjustment can be an awkward one! It definitely had that feeling for me. Not that I was planning on watching any TV, but I think the idea of not even seeing one made me feel cut off from civilization or something lol. As stupid as it sounds, it was almost like someone taking your security blanket away from you. You don’t need it, but you just like to know that it’s “there”. Is it just me, or am I the only one that has gotten so accustomed to seeing some kind of electronic bombardment everywhere I go? You expect it, so it’s kind of a shock when it’s absent!

As I attempted to get to sleep that night, I cried. Reality was setting in. I was away from home; and for a whole week! The cell-phone service is pretty non-existent, and this place would be all I had. Aside from my friends, I was with strange people (including Phil. Ha ha…just kidding!). So much newness and so much uncertainty! All of it was beyond my realm of “control.” I was being forced to adjust to new normals, new people, etc. That night, I prayed that the week would go quickly; and wondered what in the world I was really doing there. I was a mess that first night!! Thankfully, God had plans for me that were beyond my comprehension……….(to be continued). ;)

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