When I was in my 20’s there was a lady that was ahead of our Women’s ministries for our district and every year she would take a team of ladies on a mission’s trip out of the country. She would share the pictures and the stories every year at our conferences. I dreamed of someday getting to go on one of those trips.
My first opportunity to go on a mission’s trip finally came in 2007. Almost 20 years after that strong desire had been placed in my heart. Our youngest son was 15 years old at the time, so as hard as it was for me to be away from my family for a week… I felt like it was the right time.
Here is my journal post from September 28, 2007: It’s Friday evening, I am pretty well packed for the trip. Tomorrow morning, we leave for Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I’m excited, a little nervous, and a little overwhelmed… A little weirded out by how little I might get to talk to Rick and the boys while I’m gone. We will be gone 8 full days. I’ve written Rick, Sean and Seth notes telling them how much I love them and how much I’m going to miss them. I talked with several friends yesterday and today, I know I’m going to really miss some of them as well. I don’t really know the lady I am rooming with, so I’m looking forward to getting to know her better. I’ve been a little more emotional today than normal, but I really do have peace about the trip. I know we serve a big God. I’ve been singing “My God is an Awesome God”, today. One of my closest friends just called, each one of her kid’s were yelling out individually “love you Pam”… I wish I could give each one of them a hug before I leave.
As I am typing this out, Rick and I are preparing to leave with a team tomorrow to fly into Panama City, Panama, for my sixth mission trip. Rick and I are now blessed to do some of these trips together, but so many of those feelings and emotions are the same as they were with that first trip. By the time you are reading this post, we will be in Curundu, Panama working at a community center. I had the opportunity to go there in 2010 where I helped paint a Noah’s Ark mural inside the center and helped paint the center’s logo on the front of the building. Rick was able to go there in 2014 and work with the construction team which is where he will also work this time. This year I think I will be working with the medical team, handing out eye glasses.
What our team is reminded of before we go on each of these trips is:
1) Flexibility, Flexibility, Flexibility.
2) Our work there comes second to loving on the people.
We may have somewhat of a language barrier, but love is not so much words, but how we make someone feel. Many of the kids we will come into contact with do not have parents in their lives for one reason or another. Many of us will take opportunities to hang with the kids and play with them. It’s amazing in just a few short days how you feel bonded with the people there. While meeting some of their needs and showing unconditional love, it opens doors to share with them what a good, good Father looks like. The day we have to leave the site for the last time, there is normally many tears! Tears from those we are leaving and from most everyone on our team, men and women. You wonder, did I make a difference, did I give everything I could, and you feel some guilt in leaving. It’s what drives most of us to want to go again and again!
If you would pray for our team this week, as we minister to and love on the people of Curundu! May our efforts be multiplied to meet their needs!