Friday Five: Mission Impossible
I am in mission trip mode right now, as I get ready to take a group of youth to DC to do service work around hunger and homelessness issues. So, in that spirit, our FF is Mission Style! So here are your questions:
1) Have you ever been on a mission trip, as a participant or adult chaperone? What was it like?
2) What is the worst thing that happened to you/your group on a mission trip (or retreat, or camp, or Habitat for Humanity experience, or something like that–hey, this is YOUR Friday Five, so you get to play it how you would like.)
3) If money were no object, where would you want to go to help and serve? What would you do?
4) What would be your advice to someone who will be sleeping in a gym with 20 other people for a week?
5) Any parting thoughts, stories, or questions you have around the whole theme of Mission Trips?
1) Mission trips and choir tours with embedded mission days were the highlights of my youth. I went on four choir tours and a couple of mission trips in high school and a “hardship” mission trip to Bermuda in college. (Yes, we did work very hard. We were just fortunate enough to work hard in paradise!) During my seminary internship as a youth minister, I planned two mission trips. I was only able to chaperone the first. The second one took place after my ordination/installation to my first call. It killed me to send them off and to have to stay behind!
2) The worst trip was probably the year our church decided to rent a bus for one of our chaperones to drive. It was a total clunker. It broke down on the side of the road twice – out in the middle of nowhere, of course. Then one afternoon when we were traveling on a remote back highway, our church van came speeding past us, honking the horn. Turns out the back of the bus was on fire. Never a dull moment that year, except for all those moments we spent sitting in the hot sun on the side of the road waiting for a mechanic to show up.
3) My two youngest children were born in Guatemala. I would love to go back there one day and work with the children, especially those in orphanages. The land and its people hold a special place in my heart.
4) Okay, I’m trying to be practical here and not crass. I would recommend three items: ear plugs, Febreze, and Gas-X. No further explanation needed!
5) I will defer to an ongoing conversation that’s taken place over the last several months over at Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary’s blog. Warning: some people have gotten pretty upset about some of the things that have been said over there. Still, I see the wisdom in listening to the words and advice of someone who has been there at ground level for a long time. The most recent post can be found here. For an index of the conversation from its beginning, look here.