Revkjarla @ RevGals poses this Friday Five:
I am in mission trip mode right now, as I get ready to take a group of
youth to DC to do service work around hunger and homelessness issues.
So, in that spirit, our FF is Mission Style! So here are your
1) Have you ever been on a mission trip, as a participant or adult chaperone? What was it like?
A timely Friday Five, seeing as how I just got back from a mission trip to Joplin, Missouri. This marked my 16th mission trip, with 11 of those times being to Pearlington, Mississippi. I've been on the "go to Mexico and lead VBS" trip, the, "go to Mexico and build a house" trip, the "go to the Inner City" trip and the "disaster Relief" trip. Each trip is so different, yet strangely the same. We work hard, we get little sleep and are extremely emotionally exhausted by the time we head home.
2) What is the worst thing that happened to you/your group on a mission
trip (or retreat, or camp, or Habitat for Humanity experience, or
something like that--hey, this is YOUR Friday Five, so you get to play
it how you would like.)
Well...last year we sent a young man home from the Galveston trip. I don't know who reads this blog, so I'm not going to go into details but that was pretty tough. The first Mississippi trip we had one student step on a nail and I
wound up with pink eye on the last day, going to the hospital at 2:30am. The 2nd Mississippi trip 17 women stayed in hut/shack/thing that leaked in multiple places and it RAINED hard all week long. Another Mississippi trip, with 20 or so people waiting back at the airport, we pulled into the Alamo Rent-A-Car lot only to see 2 vehicles in the entire lot and a lobby full of people waiting for cars. That was special. In fact, we had trouble with rental cars for probably half of the 11 Mississippi trips, usually in that the reserved vehicles were never there when we arrived. My Mom (aka Yo Momma) came home from one trip commenting that she had never seen me get so tough with someone as I had with the Alamo people. All that said, we haven't really had something truly awful happen, for that I'm grateful!
3) If money were no object, where would you want to go to help and serve? What would you do?
If money were no object I would be in Mississippi helping the people who are still not back in their homes from Hurricane Katrina. It's not a glamorous or exotic location but it's the place that God put on my heart to serve. Actually, if money really wasn't an issue, I would be a volunteer coordinator wherever a natural disaster struck in the United States. I'm not the overseas kind of gal.
4) What would be your advice to someone who will be sleeping in a gym with 20 other people for a week?
Ear plugs, eye mask, iPod and Tylenol PM. There are ALWAYS going to be people who snore or make funny noises during the night and there will always be random lights in the room. Also, if you are using a sleeping bag, I highly recommend taking a twin sheet with you. This last trip I put the sheet over the cot and then used my sleeping bag like a blanket. I could get my feet free in the middle of the night if I got too hot.
5) Any parting thoughts, stories, or questions you have around the whole theme of Mission Trips?
Have a good time! Smile! Don't be afraid of laughter! Be prepared to listen. Everyone has a story, listen to the story without judgement and without adding your own "stuff" onto that story. Sometimes the most important work you do all week is listening to someones story.