In less than two and half weeks, my family will travel to the Dominican Republic with our church youth group. I am excited, anxious, consumed, moved and awed by how this trip has come together. I plan mission trips all day long for Compassion, but it’s a whole other story when you are planning it for your friends and family. This is a new experience, and I feel like I am as obsessive about this trip as a bride-to-be is about planning a wedding. Two months ago, I jotted down my perfect mission trip.
God had a different plan.
Over the last month, Stephen and I have struggled with putting together the itinerary because certain things didn’t happen, and certain places weren’t available, and hotels changed, locations changed, country staff changed, and the mission itself changed. But this week it became obvious to me why all this changed, but I am saving that story for later. What I can tell you is… God has a plan for our group and it’s not the trip that Patricia and Stephen created. It’s the trip that God created.
In a couple weeks we will visit the children of the Dominican Republic. We are going to spend three days at a Haitian Betay with Compassion kids (1 hour from the Haitian border), and we will be working on their church building to improve their facilities. We will hand out 500 shoes to the community. Those shoes won’t be for their feet only. In fact, in this community, shoes are resources. Sometimes shoes are the very thing that helps a Haitian start a business, because their shoes are collateral for a loan. We asked the staff if this was a good thing. “OH yes, this allows the Haitians to live and eat.”
Shoes for food. It’s too much to process. Of course the kids will get shoes too, Isabel is going to make sure of that and she has her little red cowboy boots to fit on the perfect foot.
I am already broken for this community of Haitians that we will visit, and I haven’t even arrived yet. The government destroyed their village because the Haitians are unwanted in the Dominican Republic. The problem is they are too poor to travel back to Haiti, so they are left with nothing but a little church to give them hope. For three days, we will be at that little church hoping to see, bring, and experience joy in the midst of poverty.
I have been lying awake at night praying for our trip. I suppose I am a little anxious. I don’t want anyone to get sick, and I don’t want anything to go wrong. However, I anticipate amazing things, especially as I think about how all of the plans have come together. I am trusting God with the team and with this trip.
He has shown me once again, the beautiful orchestration of how He works, and how he makes the perfect collision of experiences for our lives so that we might become His hands and feet. Indeed He is good.
Life, Family, Faith and Travel...the life of a Jones
Dominican Republic Missions trip
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