dirt floors for hardwood

I’m trading in a summer of cold showers for hot showers.

I’m trading in dirt floors for hardwood.

I’m trading in boarding passes for small town permits.

I’m trading in blessings for praise.

We’re so-called ‘home’. Our team of twelve exited the Kansas City airport on Friday night exhausted and ready for our own beds.

Two weeks flew by, just as I knew they would.

The questions (or the lack thereof) have started to pile in.

Have you recovered?

How was your trip?

Did you see ebola?

They are all valid questions. Even though I’m not ready for those questions, I appreciate them.

The answers?

As I shared with one of my Ecuador team members a week after we returned, I don’t want to recover. Sure, I want to readjust to my current timezone. Sure, I want to sleep. Sure, I need to get back into my routine. But I don’t want to come back and live exactly like I did before I left. The word life-changing in relation to mission trips is overused and abused. Mission trips aren’t life-changing because you visit villages, see poverty, and pray over the needy or discouraged. Mission trips are life-changing if you let Jesus mold your character through those experiences. For that matter, that’s what makes every day life-changing – becoming the one Jesus wants you to be step by step. A calloused heart cannot accept those truths. That’s why the ‘recovery’ of my mission trips this summer will be vulnerable, broken, and honest.

How was my trip? My trip was very messy, so joyful, and brimmed full with (new & old) companionship.

…& for those of you who don’t know, ebola is in western Africa. We saw sickness, but there wasn’t a touch of ebola where we specifically were in eastern Africa.

Almost all of our plans changed to a certain extent, but we’re trusting that it was better that way. I teasingly quoted almost everyday, “Life begins outside of your comfort zone.” It does… & I had the opportunity to be personally stretched more than I ever have before.

While in Uganda, I had the blessing of renewing old friendships and beginning many anew. It was so sweet to see how Jesus brings glory to His name in confusion and messiness. We found our joy in these truths.

So, would you pray that in our ‘trip recovery’ – similar to surgery recovery – we would be open to change and healing?

Pray that our hearts would be protected by the God that protected us in rough landings and slippery dirt roads.

Pray that we would humble ourselves. That we would continue to
listen to what He would have to say to us after all of the experiences we were blessed with.

Pray that as we miss the wonderful people we got to know that God would continue to comfort us with the fact that He loves them more than we ever will.

I look forward to sharing specific stories with you as time passes. So many of your prayers were answered! I rejoice in the wonderful support system of friends and family we all have around us.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions.

We’ll talk soon. :)

Until then, trade in fear for boldness, dry bones for His life, and worry for trust.

I got treasure up in heaven; I got dirt all over me,
Emilee C.

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