On The Road As A Family…
Posted by Brandi Wilson
Yesterday you guys got to hear Jenni discuss the marriage perspective on a mission trip. Today I’m following her sharing the family perspective. It’s kinda an unplanned Missions Week at LALI!
Last month my family had the opportunity to travel with Go Ministries to the Dominican Republic for our first family mission trip. I had high expectations for this trip and I have to tell you the trip really exceeded my expectations. Our church has partnered with Go Ministries for 10 years and it was so fun to go over and celebrate those 10 years as a family. We spent the bulk of our time in the community where our church sponsors a feeding center and a Haitian church.
Honestly, trying to describe this trip in a blog post seems a bit daunting so I’ll summarize it with a few bullet points….
1. Play is a universal language. Regardless of language barriers if you give a group of kids a ball they can play a full fledged game. My kids couldn’t understand the children we hung out with… but play joined them together. It was really beautiful.
2. One day we painted the home of a single mom… inside and out. Yes, in one day we painted an entire home. The boys felt like champions finishing that paint job, but what I loved most was how the single mom stopped and told our boys how much she loved watching us sacrifice as a family. Through a translator she told us that because of our example she knew that when she joined forces with her kids they could accomplish more for God as a team. I love seeing families work as teams.
3. We spent one afternoon working sanitation in an alley with some Go Ministry seminary students. The alley sits between two distinctly different neighborhoods and there was some tension between the two. Our youngest son, Brewer, led a pack of about 15 of us through that alley waving and greeting everyone we passed with a friendly “Hola.” At 7 he doesn’t recognize tension, but he does recognize the power of eye contact and a simple hello.
4. Our college friends, Jeff and Vicki Rogers, work for Go Ministries. Instead of staying in group housing in the DR we stayed with the Jeff, Vicki and their three girls in their apartment. Loved the fact our boys got to “live the missionary life” for a week. They got to see first hand the sacrifices missionaries make on a daily basis. We often think about the big sacrifices but miss out on the small things like not being able to use tap water to brush your teeth. Their first hand experience with missionaries was eye opening and created a great bond between these pastor kids and the Rogers’ missionary kids.
5. My biggest personal lesson is something I elaborate more on during my host time for #JustONE2014. But the entire week was such a personal lesson for me on trusting God with my kids’ hearts. I realized at the end of the week that sometimes I have the tendency to “box God in” when it comes to my kids. I work hard to facilitate situations, like having my kids serve at a feeding center or paint the home of a single mom, where God can speak to the hearts, form who they are. Ultimately God gently reminded me that He is at work in their hearts regardless of where they are and what they’re doing.
I love my family got to have this missions experience together and really appreciate the fact that my boys’ first mission trip was with their brothers. Memories were made and their bond as brothers was strengthened. No doubt this won’t be the last time the Wilsons head out to serve on the mission field.
Have any of you had the opportunity to take a family mission trip? Or do you have dreams to take a family mission trip together? We’d love to hear where you’ve gone or what you dream?