Barbados behind me--reality before me!

I can't believe it has taken me this long to blog since my return from Barbados. I still feel like I am recovering in some ways, getting back to reality. What an experience it was, and quite honestly a very difficult experience. Every mission trip I have been on has been different, not one experience the same as the other. It is a given going into every mission that your mind set should be to have no expectations, no agenda but know that God is running the show. It isn't my mission, it isn't anyone on the team's mission, it is God's and more often than not He has something different in mind. We were hit right smack between the eyes with a whole lot of unexpected on this trip. We learned very quickly to be flexible and got tired of hearing it even though it needed to be said over and over again. Here's a run down of what we experienced from my thank you letter:
'We went with all these ideas of what to expect and what we would be doing, but we had no idea just how flexible we would need to be until we landed in Barbados. Our flight schedule changed a bit due to a cancellation but thankfully we arrived safely on Sunday, October 18 in Bridgetown, Barbados. We stayed at the Churches of Christ Camp in Grazettes, very secluded and rough campground setting. We stayed in a concrete and block building known affectionately as “the dorm”. Ladies got the first floor, men were lucky enough to stay on the second floor and experience more of the heat than most of us while they slept. October is the end of their summer, so conditions were very hot and there was a warm breeze if we were lucky. As the days passed, we found the evenings to be cooler and a nice breeze came through the camp as we enjoyed some rest and dinner together after a hard day at the work site. We enjoyed out meals in the second building which housed the kitchen and meeting room/cafeteria area. Each of us took turns leading devotion for the team which was a great way to end the day and bring us all together to focus, rest, and share our daily experiences. Each day, our schedule consisted of loading the van a couple times, heading to the work site and hitting the work hard: laying block, mixing concrete, pouring and filling layers to eventually put up the walls for the first level of the new building. When our work was done, we had completed the lower level which included the kitchen, bathrooms, and a large classroom area for Bible studies and Sunday School classes. In addition, there will be better parking available due to the tight location of the church in a very busy, high traffic neighborhood.
The end of each day came and we were of course exhausted, dirty, sweaty, and ready to enjoy some down time to fellowship with each other—that is, if we could stay awake long enough to enjoy it! The best part of the trip was seeing how every person pulled their own weight, nobody was left out and nobody felt they had worked any harder than anyone else. It was an awesome team effort and I was so amazed by the people I worked beside throughout the two weeks. Despite some of the challenges we faced we made the best of it and we continued to focus on this purpose: It is God’s mission and this sweet congregation needs a better facility to continue to grow and thrive, bringing more and more people to know Christ.'
I am thankful for what I experienced because it has made me realize how little the things of this life matter, and how much the things of eternity do. I know my life has been changed and that is why I go on mission trips because I know God has something incredible to teach me, He has a purpose for me and will use me and fill me, and I know there is so much need out there in the world around me waiting to be met. God has placed the call upon our lives to Go! Will you answer His call?
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