The pilot hits the throttle, the engines begin their throaty rumble, and the tears start. I am pressed into my seat by the acceleration of the airplane and pressed into my thoughts by the sudden weight of emotions surging upward. I really don’t want to cry here and now. I hate crying. But I give in to it as I hear God telling me, “It’s okay to be real here. I created emotion for a reason. Feel it and don’t apologize.”
I honestly don’t know which specific emotion to blame for the tears. We did not spend 10 days serving people in gut-wrenching poverty so it was not compassion. We did not get terribly close to any heart-breaking stories of pain so it was not sadness. I can’t put a name on it, though believe me, I’ve spent some hours trying. Maybe it’s just because it was such an unexpectedly great week I was grieving just because it was at an end, as all good things must come to.
I have 845 photographs and roughly 50 gigs of video footage. I have 9 brightly colored bracelets for my girls, baobab jelly and crepe cookies for my son. I have mosquito bites and 22 more anti-malaria pills to swallow and way too much sand still in my camera bag. And I have so many memories.
I always struggle to put good, clear words on the experience of a project trip. I thought this one might be easier because not only was it full of great stories and fun times, but I could feel all the blog posts already forming in my head throughout the ten days. But then I watch out the window of the plane as the Senegal coast receded into the distance and all the words evaporated.
I’ll get the posts written (today!) because a project trip this good has to be shared, but for now I share the stories in the form that comes most naturally: imagery. The video below gives an overview of the week. Enjoy.
We are missionaries with Engineering Ministries International, based in Colorado Springs, and traveling around the globe to serve.
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