Surprise! You’ve won an all-expense paid trip to New Zealand! That would be amazing, wouldn’t it?! This isn’t that.
However, we have been keeping a secret. It’s the kind of secret that you plan for and you pray about. We definitely couldn’t talk about it. It most definitely didn’t involve a baby.
Last fall 21 teams of students from Jaron’s Alma Mater, Southern Nazarene University, signed up to go on short term mission trips throughout the summer. One of those teams was chosen to participate in a mystery trip to a mystery destination. They would find out their destination as they prepared to leave for the airport, bags fully packed, passports in hand. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, we were plotting and planning and praying for their arrival.
On Monday, those six (4 students + two graduates) found out they would be flying from Oklahoma City to Dallas to Sydney to Auckland! Surprise! You’re going to New Zealand! A little over 24 hours later, we met them at their destination. Everything but one lowly suitcase made it. We offered its owner a toothbrush.
The next two weeks will be busy ones for them (and us). We have a lot on the agenda that will provide opportunities for getting to know kids and families all around our community. They are going to work hard. They are also going to play hard. We are on a mission to feed them as many different foods, introduce them to as many different cultures, and show them as many enticingly beautiful places as we can in just 13 days. We’re off to a great start.
Check back next week for the team’s perspectives and lots of photos. For now, we’ll let them rest. It’s 8:30 p.m. and I hear a lot of…. Silence. No surprise there!