Living in a bunk house with 30 some people and in a room with six other guys (yes the night was filled with all sorts of strange noises) is not the typical way Mindy and I and the kids have spent our summer vacation. We’ve been on RV tours of the Southeast US, cruised the Caribbean and Atlantic oceans, holiday ski trips, cottages on the outer-banks… All in all some very nice vacations. About a year ago, we decided to spend this summer’s vacation on a mission trip. We checked into several mission organizations and discovered that they all required youth to be at least 14 years old. That was a deal breaker for us because our youngest, Brenna, is 11.
God is good and knew just the answer, about the time we were getting frustrated, my mother mentioned that she would like to take Brenna with her on her annual mission trip to Honduras. Mom is a seasoned veteran for this particular trip so we decided to tag along. Originally, all the kids were going to participate, but they are grown and school, work, and life had them all dropping from the team. While it wasn’t a whole-family vacation, it still ended up being a family vacation, just not blood-related family.
With the Bowman clan down to Mom, Mindy, Brenna, and I, we set about joining in on the fund-raisers, team meetings, and planning. In an earlier post (And Away We Go), I mentioned that despite all these activities with the team, we were what I would call acquaintances more than anything else. But then the trip happened and in a very short time, in the blink of an eye, we were family. I can’t say when the transformation occurred, but it did. You might think living with 30 people will do that, but it seemed to take place instantly, even in the airport. I suppose thinking back, I shouldn’t be surprised because the Holy Spirit has wonderful ways of bringing unity even among a diverse group of men, women, children, teens, young adults, middle-aged, and seniors. Psalm 133 says this (ESV):
133:1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
And Blessings abounded throughout our journey. On our closing evening in the bunk house, we had a wonderful candle light service where each person was able to talk about one (or several) thing(s) that impressed/touched them the most.
I am certain that we all could have talked for hours that evening remembering things that happened, people who touched our hearts, little hands that reached up for the love of Christ. You can read many of these details in Mindy’s posts (here, here, and here). While all of those things she mentions are spot on, I think what amazes me the most is how God can transform a diverse group of people into a unified body working on the great commission. Of course, God’s Spirit working through Kim (our fearless leader) had a good deal to do with that. His Spirit worked through each of us that week in ways that are incomprehensible unless you’ve been there and done it.
While I may have a serious battle would from a rough round of “pato, pato, gonzo” (yes, duck, duck, goose), I would go back in a second.