It’s cold today. Yesterday was just the same. The month is December. My locale, Central IL. Hard to believe I was sporting shorts and a t-shirt only a handful of hours ago. But that was Nicaragua. Not here.
Made a last second shift on travel to the airport and back. A friend of mine found me out about a bus ride that rode round trip between Peoria and O’hare. That’s Chicago’s main airport, if you’re not aware. Saved money. Not necessarily time, although. Then again, those layovers did allow me space to process the memories, electrified, still spangling inside.
Fort Lauderdale served as cut off man both there and back again. Never been before now. Someone said that airports don’t count anyhow. Sounds fair to me.
Customs was a breeze. Scan line? Lost a pocket knife on the way back to the States. Forgot to pack it in my check in. Merry Christmas, TSA! Did manage to pick up another one though. Felt kinda naked without it.
Joe. Jairo. Rene. Those guys worked hard to snatch me up at the airport in Managua. The hour was late. Some 1:30am. Had already been travelling all day. Was just informed it was another 4 hours, via car ride, to the hotel from there. You guys are the best!
Might have slept in a bit that morning. Was headed into double OT. Then I heard Scott’s voice from outside my room – that distinct boom, a Texas radio presence. We hadn’t seen one another in almost 3 years. Couldn’t resist getting to it. Was super glad I did!
Met the team. Met the team. Met the team. Everyone so full of life! Even the quiet ones. So many times things start out so slow. But this crew was unique. You could feel it! Nobody wore their badge outside their skin. Everyone was adaptable – eager for what better served the mission. Work horses. Love horses. Tried and true. Yeah, there were opportunities for failure, but in the end, everybody pulled through. And we were a better team because of it.
I know I’m supposed to talk about miracles and things of like manner. I know what you want to hear is how God did this. God did that. We’ve grown so used to the formula. Who am I not to follow suit? I mean, we were there to encourage young adults who were either in leadership or destined for it… so I guess I should make some big stink on how well all that went. And I will. It’s just that…
I think I learned something on this trip. Imagine that. And what I now believe is that missions isn’t always necessarily about us, Americans especially, packing our suitcases to fly off to some foreign land and unpacking all we know. It’s not about building some structure, by ourselves, as if the nation we’re currently visiting runs a shortage on construction workers. Sometimes, at least this time, it was about locking arms in friendship with Nicaraguans, Mexicans, even a few Swedes and saying, “This is a sign, a testimony of the Kingdom that’s coming! When every tribe, tongue and nation will dwell together in unity, under Christ’s lordship!” Did I get that right?
As for the young adults: Yeah, they had a great time! Let us know it on so many levels. And God did do so many amazing things, I could convert this blog into a book! But overall, I’m just so impressed with the leadership of those who were instructing on leadership. The match of character per subject advertised was spot on! I’d do it again in less than half a heart’s beat. Probably you would too? #invitation