Why am I going? This is my third trip to Ethiopia and I guess my answer is similar to what it has been in the past 2 trips: God wants me there.
I have fallen in love with the Ethiopian people and cannot imagine NOT going back. They are the most beautiful people I have ever seen or met. Physically, they have a beautiful skin color and bone structure. But more importantly, they have an amazing spirit. They have very little, but they are SO happy with what little they have. Time (which really makes Pastor Kevin crazy) and money are of little importance to them—relationships are what are important to them. We in America are so busy trying to make money and buy more stuff and cram more into a day than is possible that we sacrifice and take for granted our relationships with our spouses, kids, families and friends…and even God. I am guilty as charged. I am very fortunate to have a job that I absolutely love (most of the time), so I enjoy doing it. But, I am so busy doing tasks that the important relationships in my life fall by the wayside. One of the reasons I want to go back is that it helps remind me of what is most important in my life.
This trip will be a bit different for me, I think. The first two trips, I really only had myself to take care of. I was able to process what I saw and felt on my own. This time, my 18-year-old daughter, Connor, is going. She has wanted to go the last 2 times, but the timing wasn’t right. This time, the timing is perfect. I am so looking forward to sharing this experience with her and seeing things through her eyes. She is an amazing young lady who has a heart for mission. She will be going literally around the world on a 5-month mission trip beginning in April. I am so excited for her but very nervous about “my baby” leaving home for the first time and to be going to God knows where (at this point, it really is only God that knows which 8 countries she will spend time in). I am hoping that this will be a nice “baby step” for me in letting her spread her wings to fly without crashing and burning (me, not her—I have no doubt that she will fly; it’s me that I am worried about).
To learn more about Lutheran Hour Ministries short-term mission opportunities please visit the International Volunteer Trips page.