The most challenging mission trip I ever led was to Belize. It was back in 2011. Our team of 30 flew into Belize City and then drove 2 hours inland to a town near the Guatemala border. One portion of our group helped with construction at a local church. Another assisted in tutoring at a nearby elementary school. In the afternoon, we all gathered together and led a Vacation Bible School at the church. The ministries we were involved in were meaningful and long lasting.
But I have never been to a more hot and humid climate in my life (and that’s even after spending 10 years in Tampa)! Our base camp did not have air conditioning and the nightly temperatures still hovered around 80 degrees. The night we arrived, we found a giant tarantula on the wall of our eating area. The menu consisted of some variation of chicken and rice for every single meal.
I would go back in a heartbeat. I have never grown closer to a mission team than I did on that trip. I believe that the challenging conditions forced us to bond in a unique way.
Mission trips are special. They push you out of your comfort zone. They open your eyes to different parts of the world. And they are an opportunity to create deep, lasting change in communities of need. Unity has three mission trip opportunities this year: two adult trips and one high school trip.
There will be an information meeting this Sunday at noon in the Meeting Room if you’d like to learn more about the two adult trips.
Haiti Mission Trip: I will be partnering with Unity member Kate Conrad to lead a mission trip to Haiti from May 25 to June 1, 2019. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. We will be partnering with an organization that Kate works for: the Community Coalition for Haiti. There will be a role for everyone; no mission trip experience is necessary. We will assist with mobile health clinics, light construction projects, and VBS activities. The Haiti registration deadline is April 1. The total cost per participant is approximately $1,250 (this includes airfare).
Nigeria Mission Trip: Unity member Chris Easterling will be leading this trip to Africa. He will partner with Access 2 Success. Week 1 is June 18-28, 2019 and Week 2 is July 1-11, 2019. Both trips will assist with a basketball camp, distribute supplies to those who have been displaced by Boko Haram, and assist with the Faithfuel program. Total cost is approximately $2,300.
New Bern Hurricane Recovery: Our high school students will travel to New Bern from June 23 to 28, 2019 to assist with hurricane recovery. More details will be announced ASAP.
I have personally been a part of mission teams that have traveled to New Orleans, Jamaica, Belize, Mexico, Alaska, Seattle, and Spokane. Mission trips can be life changing experiences. I encourage you to attend the meeting on Sunday to learn more about these opportunities. I also encourage you to be in prayer for these mission teams.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
See you on Sunday!