When my daughter, Victoria first talked of going on this mission trip to the Dominican Republic with her senior class, it was tempting for her dad and I to pay the entire amount of the trip up front. I hate fundraisers, I dislike asking for money.
But, we felt it was important for her to understand the full reality that is mission work--and raising support is a big part of what missionaries do. So we asked. And people responded in a humbling, and overwhelming fashion.
Today, as we loaded the bus in front of the Castle and I watched dozens of people taking photos and gathering around our group to express well-wishes, another thought slid into my mind: Missionaries don’t go out alone. They are sent.
I watched parents embracing their sons and daughters. Parents who are doctors and carpenters, police officers, teachers, and pastors. Along with moms and dads, there were school staff, cousins, aunts and uncles and plenty of friends on hand for the send off. “God be with you--we’ll be praying” was the resounding message.
Once on the bus, we bounced along toward Minneapolis in high spirits. A girl in front of me watched a YouTube vldeo and learned how to make friendship bracelets. Soon many of the kids were busy with the project, laughing and swapping colors--a project that will come in very handy once we are with the children.
I listened to them and thought about the investment that was made, the “sending” that happened so we could all be on our way. Many of you contributed to this trip with gifts of money and prayer. You have sent us and, by so doing, are joining us on our mission.
We unloaded our bus into small hotel rooms and loaded up on Chick-Fil-A for supper. Now, we are all winding down for a few hours sleep before we head to the airport in the wee hours of tomorrow morning. And you, dear Reader, are along for the journey.
Thank you for your generosity--thank you for your support in making this trip possible. We are praising God tonight with thankful hearts that all 25 of us are here; healthy, and ready for whatever God has for us in the week ahead. We wouldn’t be here without you. Buckle up--it’s going to be a great adventure with eternal stakes.