“So, how was your trip?”

By: Caleb David

Every time. It gets me every time. I should be prepared for it after all these years and trips. After all, we have taken literally over 10,000 people on short-term trips. But the question, “So, how was your trip?”, never ceases to stump me...I mean, where to even begin? I know most of the time it’s a very genuine question and rarely is it someone who doesn’t really care but are just being “polite”. Either way, I guess I’ve got to learn how to take my own advice that I give to each of our team members. Find the “one thing” the “one face”, that “one story” and come up with a quick 30-60 second elevator speech that gives folks the chance to either fully engage and ask follow up questions or gives them the “out” they want after asking the question.

I had a very distinct gut-feeling that this trip was going to be very different than the others. Some new things were stirring in us and we were going to be exploring some learning opportunities (such as the Syrian refugee crisis) in the Middle East after our time in Ethiopia. I’m realizing as I sit here at a first-world kid’s birthday party at SkyZone Trampoline World, that I can’t stop the array of stories and experiences swirling around in my head and heart. And I never want to forget. Every time. My goal is to NOT forget. The names. The stories. The faces.

I intentionally said “head and heart” above because it is important for each our teams to find a way to not only have a heart for the poor, but also a mind for the poor. To go beyond traditional “missions”. On these trips, we not only encounter physical poverty, but we are confronted with our own “orphan spirit” during these adventures. It is vital to our own life and those we come alongside, that we don’t use yearly mission trips to ignore our own pain and use the poor as our band-aid to cover over our own wounds. It creates a very sick sense of spiritual co-dependency. Our hope for each team member is that they lean into their own spiritual and emotional journey.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey and invite others to the table. 

 

Article originally posted March 12, 2017 by Caleb David

Image: Lynn Bonack meeting her Children's HopeChest sponsor child