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Halfway Around the World

January 11, 2016

We arrived at the ATL airport on Thursday at 9:00 am. We settled at KKFI in Manila, Philippines around 2:00 am Saturday morning. Since we’re 13 hours ahead, for the next two weeks our night and day would be turned upside down. Tired does not begin to cover it. Fortunately we got about a four hour nap before grabbing some breakfast and making our way toward the Gilead Center. Another hour in the van and we left the city for a quieter rural area where we would spend the weekend running a camp (think 24 hours of VBS) for a group of 10-15 year olds. 

 

Bill, Dave, and me enjoying a refreshing coconut drink!

 
Dave Allen Grady, another pastor from the North Georgia Conference, shared a story of a conversation he had with one of the boys. It was early evening and jet lag was starting to hit us hard. During perhaps our eighteenth game the boy asked, “Why are you sitting down?” Dave replied, “Because I had to travel a very long time to get halfway around the world to come hang out with you, and I’m very tired.” The boy looked at Dave with a smile and said, “I think I like that.” 

When you say you’re going on a mission trip everyone always asks: “What are you going to do?” They want to know what you’re going to build, what you’re going to teach, how you’re sharing God with those you’re going to see. 

There aren’t always easy answers before a trip begins. But it often turns out that no matter what place you visit or which organization is running the show, mission trips are about so much more. It never fails to be incredibly meaningful to the locals when a group travels long and far to come hang out with them. It makes them feel valued and loved. It reminds them of their importance in this world. It helps reinforce that though it may feel like it, they are never forgotten. 

Perhaps our answers should be: “We’re going to build relationships. We’re going to learn from them. We’re going to rediscover God through their eyes and their stories that they share with us.”

Life is good when there’s a mango tree to climb.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Ann Kinlaw permalink
    January 11, 2016 11:11 pm

    Oh Julie- I am so excited for you, and for the people you are encountering each hour of your days and nights. I know you will be blessed, and I also know you will be a blessing to each one. I am reading your words with anticipation and joy. God is with you! Thanks for letting us share a part of your experience. Love and hugs to you! Mary Ann

  2. lmarea3070 permalink
    January 12, 2016 5:41 am

    Those are good answers; maybe you should try answering questions like that.

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