Saturday, January 7, 2012

The unexpected blessing. 18 hours before departure to Haiti.

And our mission trip is now before us, we depart in less than 18 hours. My bags are packed and I am ready as I will ever be.

This year, my kids decided to get involved. Marcos helped with my first "pre" pack earlier in the week. He had fun running up and down the stairs finding whatever I was seeking (small zip lock bags, batteries, garbage bags, clean socks, painting pants, work gloves, prayer book and more). He kept asking "daddy, when can I come with you? Earlier today my daughter went with me to the local sports store to buy soccer balls and basketballs. The manager was great, found a bunch of balls on sale and gave us a discount on top of that. What was fun, was that we had to push all the air OUT of the balls on the floor of the store. Everyone was curious and we enjoyed talking about the trip. Then we were off to CVS for a few more items. As usual, Maya wanted to me buy her something and I could not help but respond "no, the kids I am going to see don't even have one ball ... you don't need anything else".

When we returned home I went straight upstairs to pack. In what seemed like 15 minutes, Marcos and Maya came boldly in with a full trash bag. "Dad, you need to bring these too". It was a bag full of stuffed animals and small toys. They were so proud of themselves. After Kate and I removed a few items (passed on for generations in our families) the kids packed them into the ball bag with great pride.

I have to admit, there are many times when I feel like no one around me understands the pulling of my heart, pulling in all directions, the aches and pains, especially when my prayers and ministry take me fluidly between here and there, rich and poor, white and non-white, rural and urban, USA and the poorest country in the world.  And then this experience happens. Not only did my kids "get it", they blessed me tonight. It was what I needed. 

Please keep the people of Haiti, the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti and the members of our mission teams in your prayers.
You remain in my prayers.


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