A few weeks ago, I was planning a Mission Trip to the eastern coast of Brazil with a group from Copperfield Church - the same trip I went on last year.
To be honest, I wasn't all that excited about going to Brazil again. From the looks of it, hardly anybody else was, either. Only about a dozen people signed up, and even fewer were coming to the prep meetings.
Then, out of the blue, 2 weeks ago our church was invited to bring a group of college students to serve 2 weeks in Haiti as part of the relief efforts going on there through IMBstudents and Mission-Serve. Abby and I would lead, with possibly another adult. Now THAT was something I could get excited about. I scrambled around trying to gauge interest among our college students locally, and those who'd be coming back to town this summer. There was some real energy behind a trip like this. Everyone involved was really inspired. Students were committing right and left to spend 2 weeks sleeping in a tent in the heart of Port-Au-Prince in 90-degree weather and 100% humidity. This mattered.
Two nights ago I got an e-mail from the Project Coordinator for the Haiti trip saying that they had suspended all their operations there, and canceled all the scheduled trips, including ours. Bummer. Apparently, it's really sexy to go to Haiti right now, (which is probably why we were so excited to go) and the place is saturated with volunteers. Not that there's no needs there or anything. There's just no infrastructure for short-term-ers. Which I understand. Security and lodging were issues, as well. I hated having to let everybody down who had been so excited. I wondered if they would think it was my fault for not making it happen. It seems like a disproportional amount of things I try to plan around here end up not making it. Add this one to the list.
So now I'm back on the Brazil-train. Literally, training our students and adults to minister to the students and adults in Maracanau. The Haiti thing was disappointing, but just what I needed to remind me why we were going to Brazil in the first place. We have relationships there. We have boots on the ground already. And having been before, I can help shape the experiences of those who haven't. That should be pretty cool. Oh - also, the church is going to send my wife with me. So that's going to be awesome.
Now, if they would just send my dogs...