Last night, Kristen and I collapsed into bed. We have finally finished the physical preparations for our trip to Haiti. And now, as we laid in bed, our hearts began to sink into the reality that we are doing our first missions trip together as a couple. (Well, not including co-leading youth group trips)
I’m kind of a mish-mash of emotions and thoughts.
- I’m expecting to see some progress. Recent reports of debris clearing. And even just that people are burning the garbage… good signs.
- I’m expecting to be in awe of the machine that Adventures in Missions has put together. My first trip in February, AIM had only been on site for a few days and they had already started work on setting things up to bring in teams to help with relief efforts. It’s a miracle, in my opinion, that they can host trips so soon… much less the 50+ people who will be on site next week. This thing is going to be like an iceberg, we’re only going to see the part above the water.
- I’m expecting to see pockets of despair. Back in February, it was all joy and hope. But 5 months later– and not a significant change in things–and I’m expecting people are going to be very impatient. Based on Phil’s reports… tensions are right below the surface. Fortunately, it seems as though we’ll be doing most of our work in the same neighborhood day after day. That will go a long way from us being a target.
- I’m expecting God to open my eyes to new things. I’m hardly an expert at relief work. And I’m definitely not an expert at all things Haiti. Let’s be honest… I’m a dude with a keyboard and a camera who tells stories.
- I’m expecting to serve and work. Last time was kind of a survey deal where we saw a lot, met a lot of people, and helped out in spots. This isn’t the same type of trip. I’m hoping to grunt it out.
- I’m expecting to see Kristen in her element. A missionary kid with a degree in international missions on a short-term missions trip.
- I’m expecting for this trip to feel out of control. Not in a dangerous way. Just in an uncomfortable way.
- I’m expecting to have my worldview rocked… some more. Earlier this week I shared in a Facebook message that at some point this Spring I had to “turn off Haiti” so I could get back to life. I don’t know what God has in store for me this time. But I’m getting ready.
- I’m expecting our team to be fun. It’s kind of nuts that most of these people have never met. All along I just kind of depended on God to orchestrate who would go. Let me tell you, I was not able to talk anyone into this trip! The people who are going all want to go… bad!
It was one thing to walk into the last trip completely blind. This time I have some sense of what I’m walking into… that brought about a lot of fear.
- I’m afraid of the heat. The only other time I can think of being in this type of heat was the summer of 1995 in Chicago. I tend to dehydrate easily, so I’ll be drinking water and Gatorade constantly. (Daily heat index to hover at 115 F)
- I’m afraid of leading this team. It’s one thing for me to go with a group. I’m super nervous about having put this group together. If it sucks it feels like its on me.
- I’m afraid of feeling so helpless… again. The issues in Haiti are so big that they are overwhelming. I know logically I need to just look at what we are doing and not think about the bigger picture. But you can’t help seeing the bigger picture and not feeling compelled to do something.
- I’m afraid I’m going to feel like some sort of sick tourist. It was a little different last time as I was going to tell stories. I still want to capture stories. I just have to figure out a way to do it without sensationalizing anything.
- For some reason, I’m freaked out to have Kristen on this trip. I wouldn’t label this trip as “risk taking.” But it is definitely not risk aversion.
- I’m afraid I’ll lose my patience. When I get tired I get cranky. Gosh, I hope I can keep it together.
Let’s face it. I’ve got a lot of fears and a lot of expectations.
In fact, a big thing I’m thinking about over the next 2 days is… lower your expectations.
My prayer for the week has been… Lord, allow us to step into your river of mercy and be the hands and feet of Jesus.
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