I’m home! All day I have been trying to unpack everything I brought back with me from the week long mission trip in the Dominican Republic. The suitcase holding all my belongings was easy and took only five minutes to unpack. Now comes the harder part, unpacking the experience. I am sure I will still be unpacking everything I am supposed to learn from this journey months from now.
This was my second time going on this mission trip. It was different this time. It wasn’t as new as the first time. This year, I had an idea of what to expect. Shocking things were not as shocking. Still heartbreaking…just not as shocking. Last year, I went there with no expectations. I just wanted to give of my time and to serve the Dominican people. I had a desire to step out of my comfort zone. I came home with a deeper understanding of how God can use our gifts of serving others and turn that gift around to completely bless the giver too. This year, I am still amazed at how God is able to accomplish this. We step out and give and God steps in and blesses! Beautiful.
Similar to last year, I did not require much sleep while I was there. I was eagerly up before the sun every morning. I was so excited to start the journey for the day. As I sat drinking my coffee one morning before the rest of my team awoke, I tried to articulate in my mind how this experience made me feel. The closest thing I could equate it to was this.
Every morning while we were there serving others, felt like Christmas morning to me. I couldn’t wait to experience it. I was eager to jump out of bed to see what gifts were under the tree that day. I couldn’t wait to share the gifts that our team had brought with us. Not only material gifts, but also the gifts of time, of love and of compassion. I also couldn’t wait to receive the gifts that God had there waiting for each of us….gifts I am still having trouble unpacking and putting into words.
So, I think I just unpacked one item from my suitcase. Much more to go.