Sitting on the steps of an outdoor ampitheater, basking in the sun, I thought to myself, "Soak it all in. This adventure will quickly dissapate leaving a renewed and changed soul." In reality my seventeen year old self was not that eloquent by any means. In all probability my thoughts went something like this; "Awesome! I'm here and I should enjoy it... dude." Confused yet? Five years ago I departed in July for my first overseas mission trip with an organization called Global Expeditions. My trip came about this way: I had a core group of friends in my homeschooler group in highschool. One weekend we decided to live it up and have a sleep over. The next morning while joking about drinking coffee [because i would never actually partake of it] I spied a magazine on the counter of my friends kitchen. Filled with colorful pictures and words like "Go" and "Adventure of a lifetime" I was soon filled with the desire to go to Romania and minister to those orphans.
After applying and raising over $3,000.00, I was off on a plane to Texas and then Romania. It was month filled with newly made friends, good looking translators named Sebi, dramas on the street complete with bruised hips and scraped ligaments, cuddling babies in a hospital, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches everyday, whole loaves of bread for breakfast, quiet times, exploring a humongous boarding school, meeting Jesus and sharing him with those I encountered. I miss this. I miss being in an unfamiliar environment and being stretched. I miss being thrown together into a team where none of the faces are familiar, but they are all wonderful.
My little sister departed last Saturday to go on a trip with the same organization that I had gone with to Romania all those years ago. At 15 years old, she wisely decided to stick with a two week trip instead of a month or two months. She is basking in the sun of Trinidad as I write, ministering to the locals and loving little children. It would be so wonderful to be in her place right now, but it's not my time. It is her time to have adventures and explore new places.
I will always remember that trip. I made lifetime friendships and made eternal memories.