We had our second Haiti Team meeting last night. I’m remembering why we have so many meetings in preparation for the trip. There’s much to do and decide before boarding the plane. What activities will we do with the kids at the House? What supplies and materials will we need to procure and transport to support those activities? What supplies can we take to minister to the staff of the house? How will we as a team choose to interact with one another as well as with those we will serve?
In addition to these issues, there are the individual, mundane details of travel. Visit to the travel clinic – shots, malaria meds, an advance supply of Cipro. Starting the packing piles of the things you know you’ll need – all cotton clothing, sun screen with SPF 50, insect repellant with 30% DEET, as well as the things you hope you won’t need – Pepto Bismol, Immodium, Triple Antibiotic Ointment.
My Support Letters have gone out – in some ways the most difficult part of the process for me. I hate asking others for financial support. It would be so much easier to write a check and be done with it. I suspect that’s why they make us do it. Going to serve others as part of a ‘mission’ trip could easily result in feelings of superiority or arrogance. After all, you’re the one who is giving out of your fullness – in this case, the material wealth that is part of being born American. It could be easy to forget that your wealth is transitory (a rude reminder many of us have faced during the recent economic downturn.) Putting yourself in a position of need – asking others to support you with their gifts – highlights your dependency, forces you to acknowledge that you are not as self-sufficient as you might like to believe, gives you some small idea of what others experience daily as they are the ones in need.
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