Here I am Lord! Fill me with your Joy!
Day 1: March 20,2011: Travel from here to there.
Here we are, March 20, on the heels of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, and now my kids are worried sick about me leaving the country. I began to worry a little too. I had been to Canada and Mexico, but never off of the continental US. I had never flown over water. I had comforting friends who told me things like, if you crash, it won’t make any difference if it’s water or land. Thanks. I feel MUCH better about it now. And by the way, do you know where the Dominican Republic is? It’s on the same island with Haiti. You know Haiti right? The home of the last giant earthquake. The island that gets hit with hurricanes and floods and cholera and stuff like that. And Cuba is right there. Great. I really don’t know or care if we will fly over the Bermuda Triangle. Nobody likes to think about anything bad happening, but I’m telling you, I did. I wanted to make sure my kids knew that I loved them, but to do it in such a way that it didn’t scare them. Easier said than done when you are a little “if-y” yourself.
My friends arrived at 5am to take me to the airport and I had slept only about 2 hours. I was afraid I would oversleep and miss my plane and be the only one in the entire history of World Vision who didn’t make it to the Vision Trip and then I’d miss out on the trip of a lifetime after everyone had worked so hard to help me get there. Sad drama. But true. What happened next not only changed my attitude about the trip, but quite possibly changed my entire future. My friend Lindy, the same one who prayed for God to multiply my garage sale funds, said, “Hey! We should take a jumping picture”. Okaaaaay? She said it would be really fun and I could jump in lots of places along my trip. So we did. It was freedom. God’s joy filled me at that moment and all anxiety went wherever anxiety goes when God’s Joy is in the house. I now had renewed purpose: To jump throughout the Dominican Republic. A jumping sandblaster- the likes of which they had never seen before! Sweet.
My plane ride was uneventful and I met up with two ladies from our group in Miami and we were on our way to the DR. We arrived in Santo Domingo, the 7th largest city in North America and were greeted by Claudia, from the DR – World Vision staff. This woman may someday be running the Dominican Republic if they are smart. She is a beautiful Christian woman both inside and out and she was still working late into the night to welcome us and make sure we arrived safely. The rest of the team had arrived earlier in the day and already had dinner and day one devotional by the time we arrived. We stayed in a really nice place and were simultaneously told by our fearless leader not to get used to it. This is already shaping up to be a very funny trip.
Numbers 33 journal entry: We camped in Santo Domingo for one night.
To be continued…