Today as I finish up June blocks for the Love circle, I sketch the trajectory of a bright, shiny new dream. It feels risky to share it here, because it's a tender baby thing, but maybe sharing and learning from you is more brilliant than reckless. Maybe you have something to say.
Over stitches, making these Goose Creek blocks and enjoying Deborah's punchy, fun color scheme, I'm refreshing my email inbox in hopes of hearing back from some missions organizations. My husband and I have a pattern of acting fast, usually with great results, so yesterday's sudden realization that a family missions trip before we try for another baby could be a wonderful opportunity for our family to serve and be changed... the trip already feels half real.
Late last week I started reading Half the Sky, a book about the plight of disadvantaged girls and women the world over. Since the book was published in 2010, I've heard it referred to time and again. Glad I finally picked it up, even if it is hard to hear. I care about social justice. Always have. But what can I do about it? do. Good Stitches is a bit, and I appreciate so much it's tangible, incremental and personal nature. But, reading books like Kisses from Katie and Little Princes, these have planted in my heart a desire to go.
Actually, Brandon and I have discussed a lot this year the possibility of adopting, instead of having another biological child. That's a massive topic, and not one I'd really like to get into today, but suffice it to say that we've been praying and thinking a lot about orphans. We have decided not to pursue adoption. But, we can still go and make a difference by showing up, perhaps?
So yesterday I suddenly thought - family missions trip! The kids are just about old enough (will be 7 and 9 at time of travel, I think). Can we do this before baby? Can we find a place to do a meaningful work for a week or so and be forever changed in the process? It would be so wonderful to expose our children to the world beyond America. It's kind of like the ultimate reality check to actually go help the kids who haven't enough, whether food or water or clothes or parents. I know my few experiences witnessing the so-called "third world" were important life-shaping moments. How I would love to be a small part of the solution both by serving and by planting in my children a perspective for social justice.
I began researching options for a short term family missions trip yesterday. I found a few possibilities at places like World Servants, which seems to have the most young-kid friendly options, and Embrace Missions, which specifically works with orphanages. I've made some inquiries. I feel like the kids and I would be most useful working with/caring for children whether assisting in an orphanage or school (especially for girls), while my super-handy husband is a valuable resource for building or repair projects. Hopefully we can find a project that can use us. And maybe - who knows - some friends and family will want to join us, though that's not necessary.
What I do know is I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid of bringing my children to an unknown land. I'm not afraid we won't be able to raise the money. I am, however, uncertain as to how much it is wise to spend, resources-wise (even if they aren't my own), on a family missions trip. I guess my practical side just wonders how much good we can really do weighed against the cost of travel and time. So, that's something I'm praying about. A story in Half the Sky illustrated how social justice experiences can yield far beyond the initial acts of service, because lives and hearts that are changed go on to effect more and more change, in a ripple effect.
So, that's what's on my mind. Ha! Surprise! If you have anything to add, any word of advice or recommendation for an organization or whatnot, it's most welcome. We're looking for a trip this fall, winter or spring 2014.
Open and listening,