mission trip – done

yesterday afternoon it was raining when i went to pick up c14 from his mission trip. and the fact that it was raining is very important. it meant the windows in the car had to stay up. which was most unfortunate. because he stank. and it’s times like this when i wish al gore would get to work updating the internet and add a smell-olicious feature, because there just aren’t words.

the first question i asked him when i picked him up was, “if you get a chance to do it again, will you?” and his reply? “you bet, it was fantastic!” while he was gone i was a little worried. he wasn’t the most excited about going. the youth group is full of acquaintances, but no one he considered a friend. so he was understandably anxious. it took a little poking and prodding from us to get him even a little excited.

once we were on our way home, i just let him talk. their big project was building some staircases. it involved them trekking into the surrounding hills to harvest some bamboo and then trekking back out – it took several hours and this was done many times. he told me about the bonfires that were built. one night there was dancing around the fire and another night they played games around the fire. he said bonfires are uncommon, that they built them to honor them. he really enjoyed playing with the akha tribe kids. that initially they seemed afraid of him and his curly hair. then they discovered that if he bounced his hair would bounce, too. and they enjoyed this very much. and what he seem to be most proud of was getting one little girl to play. each evening, after they finished working for the day, they played with the kids: football (soccer) and tag and chase and gave piggy back rides – they did this for hours. but this one little girl, he thinks she was 7 or 8, maybe, wouldn’t play, she just stood to the side and watched. and c14 was told her story. her mother is mentally handicapped and her father is gone. she has siblings. and she supports the family. all day long, every monday through friday, she goes out to the fields and picks tea leaves for very minimal pay. she doesn’t go to school and because of her families legal status the options are limited. he was told she used to smile alot, but not anymore.

i am incredibly proud of him. proud that he is sensitive enough to notice one little girl who stands away from the rest and isn’t interested in playing. and that he was touched by her story. michael and i prayed that this week would be life changing for him. and i believe it will be.

and i’m very glad i heard about his week before i opened his bag to start his laundry. it made the daunting task of getting this stuff clean seem like much less of a chore.

i’m thinking it’s going to take more than one run through.

8 thoughts on “mission trip – done

  1. That is so sweet and sad all at the same time. Don’t ya wish you could scoop her up and give her a childhood back?

    Man, that washing is SERIOUS.

    i do, my youngest is 8 and i can’t even imagine the amount of growing up he would have to do.

    and some of those stains, we’ll they’re now being called design.

  2. Holy Smokes! That is DIRTY laundry! I’m so glad he had a wonderful time. I’m sure it will be life changing for him…it had to have made an impression. What a great kid.

    BTW–I didn’t need the smell-internet, I’ve had teens before. Thank Goodness they outgrow that, or learn to tame it, or whatever!

    he is a fantastic kid – of course, i don’t always remember that.

    and i’m glad to know the smell leaves. i think i’ve located a primary source. i sent 12 pairs of socks with him and only 3 came back dirty. and they trekked over through creeks and muck and all manner of nastiness unknown to man – or at least unknown to me.

  3. So glad he had a wonderful experience. Sounds like the chance of a life time. I am sure the impression will stay with this wonderfully sensitive boy (young man). We are proud of him and greatful for his opportunities. What wonderful experiences for you all – with the exception of the laundry. BH is headed home with lots of treasures and I hope some surprises. Love, Mom

    laundry? he left your house with dirty laundry?? 😀

  4. First to address the crisco thing, I only said it cause you look like you are still loosing weight! way to go. second that laundry is gross! i bet if you were in the states you would just toss it, we had lots of dirty laundry after noah and b treked the mountains for three days and cam and I went to la for our trip. We washed most of it but had to toss a few things that just couldn’t be cleaned after 3 washes! looks like c had a great trip!

    the crisco thing is cool. it really does make the best cookies!!

    yes, nasty laundry. and some of it just won’t come clean. and we have no hot water to wash clothes in.

  5. okay no hot water???? How do you shower and bathe?

    we have on demand water heaters in two of the bathrooms. and what that really means is either really hot showers or cold showers. nothing in between. and only hot water in the showers, not in the sinks.

  6. Yes, but you have to keep in mind that it is so humid that the cold showers are really quite invigorating. Besides, I had been there 2 weeks before I noticed the on demand hot water heater in the bathroom I was using.

    true. i have no complaints at all about a cold shower. feels pretty refreshing!

  7. What an amazing experience and I’m sure that little girl will remember him for a long time to come – as I’m sure he will remember her.

    That laundry….OIY!

    it’s all been washed and it’s technically clean. but some if it is irreparably stained.

  8. Hey!! Just stopped by to see what was up with you guys– I’m glad to see C14 had such a meaningful experience on the mission trip.

    We have had a good summer– took a little longer break than usual to try to enjoy some things, but we hit the books last week. Neither of our houses has sold, but we are making plans to move to the mountains. It’s amazing how much a neighborhood can change in just half a year. Sending our love.

    thanks for stopping by. i’m sure the neighborhood has changed a lot. we keep trying to get the kids to understand that when they have their “we want to move home” moments. but it’s hard for a kid to get!

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