Welcome to the first installment of Mission: Texas. Fifteen of us leave this morning for a mission trip down to Port Arthur, Texas to fix up houses and do relief clean-up from Hurricane Ike.
Seven youth and eight adults are traveling in our church’s Dodge Caravan and a rented 15-passenger van with a trailer in tow. We figure with rotating drivers and stopping only when necessary, we’ll make it down to the Beaumont / Port Arthur area in approximately twenty hours or so. The route will take us south on Interstate 35 almost the entire way south.
This morning is filled with farewells. We’re loading up our gear, packing sack lunches of sandwiches courtesy of a youth’s mother and chips courtesy of youth programming, and having a send-off during the 10:30am church service. We hope to depart as soon as possible after the service and put a few miles (and hours) between us and Minneapolis.
I’ve never been on a mission trip and neither has my wife or the youth in attendance, but many of the adults going have experience and I’ll likely rely on them to help me learn the ropes. As for my wife and me, we’re hopeful putting ourselves in the thick of service to others serves to strengthen our relationship further. We’ve both commented on how we want to be more helpful to others and how giving money isn’t something we can necessarily do, so hopefully time and talents will serve just as well. We usually do fairly well on road trips – a mark of a good couple, if you ask me – and we’re both excited for the journey ahead.
More updates (and photos!) to come this week, pending internet access throughout the trip. Your comments, prayers, and encouragement is welcome at this blog and will be shared with others on the mission trip.