Yes, that’s right! Terry and I are currently sitting in the Milwaukee Mitchell Airport, along with two other adults and 14 high schoolers, waiting for our flight to San Francisco. We’re headed out for a weeklong missions trip, where we’ll be serving the people of San Francisco in various different ministry organizations.
Terry and I jumped headfirst into this opportunity last summer as soon as we heard that our church was partnering with YouthWorks because when we were in high school we did two mission trips through them with our youth group. We were super excited for the chance to work with them again.
Just for fun, a couple pictures of us on our Mississippi trip, circa 2002:
Unfortunately I couldn’t find any pictures from our West Virginia trip the summer before on my computer!
For most of the past year, I’ve been pumped thinking about the awesomeness of participating once again in something I have such great memories from, and I’ve been even more pumped since Pastor Mike settled on San Francisco as our destination; check one item off my bucket list!
Then about two months ago after a conversation with Pastor Mike, the truth hit me hard: unlike my past awesome mission trips, I’m attending this trip as a chaperone. As in, I’m expected to be a responsible adult. And beyond that, it’s going to be my job to guide the teenagers I’m traveling with as they serve. It’s not about me; it’s about them. Woah.
I’m not going to lie, that realization hit me with a TON of self-doubt. Unlike the other chaperones, including Terry, Pastor Mike, and one other woman, I haven’t been working with the youth all year; I barely knew most of the kids we would be traveling with. I wondered how I would interact with them, get along with them. Would they like me? Would I be an impactful leader for them? Would I be what they need?
Much anxiety followed and I really struggled for several weeks. Pastor Mike is hyper-organized though, and we’ve been having team-building meetings for several weeks. I’ve started to get to know the kids, and that eased some of the stress. The other piece of the stress ~ doubting my capabilities and worthiness to serve ~ was eased through prayer, by me and many others. I finally came to a place of realization that I am here, I am in this place, because God can use me.
Going on this trip, chaperoning this trip, is definitely outside of my comfort zone. If I had thought it through before committing, I honestly can’t say that I’d be here right now. Thankfully God had a bigger plan than that, and He brought me right to where He wanted me.
This week, for the first time, I finally got excited for the trip. Not “yay I’m going to San Francisco” excited (that’s been going on for awhile!), but excited for the full experience of all that I’ll see and do. I got super stoked! Then anxious again. Than excited. You get the idea. It’s been quite the up and down week! When my alarm went off this morning (at 3:30!!), panic struck me full force; when we got to church to meet the group, I remembered the bigger picture.
I’m not sure what the week will hold as far as blogging ~ I hope to be able to do some updates, but we’ll see. I also have a notebook with me for journaling, so I’ll at least remember what was up for later posts!
Our group has a blog running for the week that you can find here; all four of us leaders have access and will hopefully be posting throughout the week. You can even sign up to have new posts sent to your inbox if you’re interested (Mom, that’s you!).
You can also follow our trip on Instagram (katiewithoutrestrictions) and on Twitter by following #crossfiresanfran
For a last bit of fun, here’s Terry and I in the church parking lot at 5:00 this morning:
Yes, I did say 5:00.