Not everybody has a heart to serve and an unquenchable yearning for adventure. Not everybody desires Missions. I do.
I have been on many Mission Trips to Haiti since October 2010. I had gone often each time proving to be more amazing and unexpected than any other. I really thought I was doing everything as I was supposed to, but just a year later I had lost sight of why I was there. I didn’t lose sight of the Haitians that I’d grown to know and love. I had become numb to the calling that God put within me and was just there, as if on a vacation. I still served and played but it wasn’t the same. I didn’t prepare myself physically, spiritually or emotionally. I was leading the trip… but I failed to lead the team. I did not facilitate an environment that was conducive to being spiritually focused. I learned that the product of non preparation is non production. I returned from that trip and vowed to never waste another trip again.
This trip on 7-4-13 was going to be special right out of the gate. I have never before shared a Mission trip experience with a part of my family. Garrett (14yrs) was excited to go and did not hesitate to accept the offer of going after his older brother had declined it. Gavin just wasn’t in a place where this was something he wanted to do. I was initially hurt but now I very much respect his decision. I like that he is comfortable enough to make decisions honestly instead of doing what he thinks people just want him to do. (sometimes that same trait also makes me want to peel my skin off and roll in salt) Garrett instantly had ideas on how to raise support for the trip and had a list of ideas written out within a week. Over the next few months we fundraised and due to the generosity and faithful giving of many people we were able to fully fund our Mission.
The trip seemed as if it was an eternity away until the day we were leaving. In classic Josh fashion I remembered all the things I was supposed to get, and realized how little time I had to get it done. Last minute is the story of my life. Some call it laziness, others refer to it as procrastination, as for me I like to think of it as force efficiency. When failure is not an option you have to find a way to make it happen. As usual that was exactly the case. I was packed, got Garrett and picked up the Malaria meds and then hit the road. While we were driving up to LAX Airport I called Spirit Airlines to check our flight status, it was delayed. This was our first real test. We had hour between connecting flights and the first delay was now 45 minuets. As we attempted to check in they had us step aside so the manager could come and talk to us. This isn’t my first delayed flight so I knew the drill. I explained to Garrett that this is where we choose to trust God or not. After they explained the delay and that due to sold out flights that they wouldn’t be able to get us to Haiti for several more days I calmly explained that I was in fact leading a trip and that unfortunately, in this case, failure wasn’t an option. While i was talking to my buddy Ryan, another Missions leader, he mentioned that I should ask about getting booked on another airline, so I did. After 30 minuets of “Lets see what we can do’s” the boss man hung up his cell…. looked at the gal who was pointing at the computer screen then after looking left then right leaned toward me and said, “there is only one way this can work, but I just don’t see it happening”. I knew that no matter what came next that we were doing it, whatever it was.
“You will have to get on your regular overnight flight to Ft Lauderdale then get from there to Miami International Airport and take an American Airlines flight into Haiti. You wont have time to do it with traffic though, and we don’t have any representatives in Miami to help if you don’t make it, so what then? What happens if you don’t make it?”
I answered, “We are going on a Mission trip, these kinds of things are going to happen and there is little chance that the plan will fail. If we don’t make it… well… its on me.” I called Ryan, who happened to be in Ft Lauderdale, and he exclaimed that it was “ON” and there was no chance we were missing that flight.
Sure enough Ryan was right, we made the transfer with plenty of time to spare. Spirit had moved us to the front of the plane so we could get off first, Ryan drove like he was in a video game racing for his life and I just wanted a cup of coffee but wouldn’t get one for several more days.
As the plane finally found itself over Haiti I saw Garrett looking silently out the window. After a couple of minuets I ask him, “are you nervous?”
Without looking away from the window he answered, “Yes I am nervous. I just… Well… Like…. I know I’m here… But I just can’t believe I’m here.. Ya know?”
I knew exactly what he meant and that the stories of things that you would never believe have just begun.
If this is your first time on my blog please go back and read the first few.. It will shed light on where I’ve been.
Josh Lawson: Just Watch
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