This is the third and final installment (for now) on how we host short-term mission trips, based on ten years of experience! We just took our summer team to the airport last night, so I’m pretty tired. Hope there aren’t too many typos in this post – but if there is – please forgive me!
We just said good bye to a team of friends who left Burundi last night. Their send off included one last party with friends, good food and the experience of the Burundian drum corp. As they loaded their luggage into the cars and headed to the airport, I thought back over the week.
I remember, in a word, the vibrancy of the first few days up-country as our guests mingled with our Batwa communities. I remembered the moment Godece washed my muddy feet after I fell down the rain-soaked hill of Matara. I’ll never forget the leaders of Matara parading toward us with gifts – a chicken, a branch of green bananas, beans and fruits – all from their abundance. Now they bless us with their first-fruits, after 5 years they have more than enough to share. These are the snapshots from a full week – and if there were time I’d tell you so many more things that took my breath away during this week of visitation and celebration.
Even this morning, as I’m hung over with exhaustion (and an eye red and watery from some kind of scratch or infection) I can remember these few things clearly. I can articulate them even through the fog of my aching bones and coffee-craving. Because we prepared for this all along.
Let me share quickly (because I am really tired) how we practice story-telling and prepare our teams for their return home after their short term mission trip…
Kelley- I am so encouraged reading your mini-manual on hosting short-term mission trips. We implement so many of the same values and practices and long-term perspectives and hopes for our new friends, advocates and partners who participate on these trips. Love, love, love the story-telling, “one word” approach, too. And not any typos that I saw! Thanks for sharing! Great work on this latest team that just left. Breathe…..
Get that eye looked at, Kelley. Please?