Liar, Liar: How Was Your Summer? (Part 2)
This post is a continuation of my last, where I began to do my best to answer the question you inevitably hear from friends, family, and acquaintances after returning from a summer leading mission teams.
So, how was our summer?
It was full of blessings.
Ask anyone who has been on a mission trip how their experience was and, in many cases, you will get an answer recounting the amazing ways God moved during the week or two weeks the team was in country. So, if one week of ministry during a mission trip has the potential to be life-changing, then a whole summer’s worth of mission trips should easily be an epochal event in your spiritual walk, right?
I’d like to say that is the case. Unfortunately, what should be amazing week after amazing week can become a new “normal” after four or five mission teams have rolled through. It is also all too easy to be swept up in the stress and worry of the job, knowing that so many people are counting on you to make sure their trip will run smoothly.
To keep some perspective on the way God moved and worked this summer, I want to take time to recount some of the blessings we experienced this summer.
- A tree planting ministry that resulted in over one thousand fruit trees being planted, numerous stories of people accepting Christ, and mission trip participants grow in a huge way as they stepped into discomfort.
- Continuing to build relationships with our Haitian staff, watching them grow into true leaders and share the love of Christ with their own country.
- A packed summer with over one thousand people from the USA coming to Haiti on our trips without any safety issues or traffic accidents. Well, no MAJOR traffic accidents…
- Spending time with Sister Mona at Good Shepherd Orphanage, who I believe to be one of the most faithful women I have ever met. Sometimes the wisdom and truth in what she says would make Yoda sound like John Madden.
- Watching mission team after mission team “get it” — that regardless of who we are or where we come from, we are all broken people in desperate poverty with need of redemption.
- A week of church league soccer matches at our host church, where we got to see the fellowship in the community around us.
- Haitian coffee, Toro, and Casino cookies. All day, every day.
- Working alongside the Hughes family, who were brave enough to bring their two sons to Haiti to live and work with mission teams for a big part of the summer. Ben and Caleb were the best!
- Getting to spend time in the community at Bwadjout with Pastor Junior and his community, especially the women who would bring coffee and “tea gaz” to the worksite each morning.
- Experiencing how hard it really is to do good things for people in a healthy way, but working with people who understand that it’s worth the hard work to make sure relationships remain healthy from start to finish.
- Watching my wife love those around her (staff, participants, community kids, and orphanage kids) so much that she would pour her heart and soul into ensuring everyone else was taken care of, often to the detriment of her own health and sanity.
What about you?
Maybe you’re like me.
Maybe you forget to step back and appreciate the way God is moving in the situations around you.
Have you been keeping your head down, oblivious to the blessings God is making evident in your life?
I encourage you to take a moment, think about your day/week/month, and comment below with a blessing you might have otherwise missed!