Missions Trips Chapter 14: A Journal

A few weeks ago I announced the start of this year’s family missions trip. This time my husband and I were heading to Trinidad to help a long-time friend, Kawal Rampersad. Well, we have returned, and we have stories to tell and photos to share. I wanted to get started sharing with you last week, but I took over 1100 photos, and wrote over 13,000 words, so it has been a lot to prepare. But it’s ready now.

While we were in Trinidad, I took some time every one to two days to sit down and write in my journal about the things that had happened that day. It looked like a lot, as the journal quickly grew to be 30 pages long. But when I typed the entries after getting home, I found surprisingly that most of them are a lot shorter than my normal blog posts.

Now, I would like to invite you to come with me vicariously and experience Trinidad for yourself. I’ll copy the journal entries here, pretty much as they appear in my actual journal. Sometimes I’ll give you two days at a time, other times half a day. So, with no further delay, let’s begin. Do you have your passport?

Saturday, Day 1

We took Mary (our daughter) to the Sieglers’ home, stopped back by the house for a few forgotten items, then headed east on I-10 for Joe and Amy’s house. The rain at home was torrential, and we drove in and out of rain all the way to Jacksonville, but we arrived safely at my sister’s house at about 5:15. We brought in our overnight bags, then headed out to Cracker Barrel, where Anita met us for dinner. Sleep was welcome that night, though the night would be short.

Sunday, Day 2

Arising at 5:30 in the morning, we quietly freshened up, dressed, and gathered our belongings. My sister came out, rubbing sleep out of her eyes, to give us hugs and open the gate for us to leave, and we were well on our way by the time my 6:30 wake-up alarm went off on my phone. We reached I-95 South right at sunrise, and enjoyed sunny skies all the way to Miami. Pat drove the first half of the trip, but we traded seats when we stopped for gas, and I took us into Miami. After three years of living in the small town of Milton, I’ve forgotten how to navigate busy city streets. To make matters worse, my contacts shifted in my eyes, so that my vision blurred. I was scared, and Pat caught on, but there was nothing we could do about it, for there was no safe place to pull over. Instead, I quietly prayed that God would clear my vision and get us safely to the parking lot. He answered both prayers—one immediately, and the other in due time.

We checked in with the concierge right on time at 1:00, got our parking permit, left the truck ,and rode the shuttle to the airport. Check-in could not have been easier. I had already done the pre-check online, so at the airport we only had to check our luggage and go through security. We flew Caribbean Airlines, and it was a most enjoyable flight. They even served a hot dinner of chicken breast, rice, and green peas. I can’t remember the last time I got a full meal on an airplane! And it was only a four-hour flight.

Pat had been anxious about flying, so I tried to calm him by telling him that I was confident the Lord, who worked out all the details of our trip, also has the power to deliver us safely to Trinidad and home again. He agreed with me, but was still anxious, so he took some Dramamine and his blood pressure medicine, and I held his hand until I felt him relax. He did well on the flight, and the Lord delivered us safely—and twenty minutes early!—to Port of Spain. Going through customs was a breeze! We claimed our luggage and passed through all the checkpoints in about twenty minutes. Kawal wasn’t even there yet because he didn’t expect us to be ready so soon. But when he arrived, we hugged his neck and headed happily to the place we would call home for the next ten days.

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