At the weekend I returned from a week-long mission trip to Eastern Tennessee with an incredible team of students and leaders. It was a fantastic trip and our debrief on Friday saw students and leaders share some powerful God moments! Now that I am home, here are 5 things I am doing:
1) Spending Quality Time With My Family: I am off for two days, which also means my phone is off, my Facebook is closed, and my email has not been touched. I was away from my family for a week and I was busy prior to the trip. Therefore it’s imperative they get the best of me now that I am home. (As I write this, my kids are in bed, and my wife is working, which means no time away from them, just in case you wondered :-). Giving my family my best and complete attention is imperative. While I was away doing exciting things in Tennessee, they were back home missing me. Therefore, they should not have to “miss” me now that I am home…
2) Rest: Working everyday for 16 hours over a week can take its toll… I loved every minute, but I was beat when I returned home. Leading a large team of students and leaders meant being “on call” continuously. My goal this week is to spend time “calling on Him” and rejuvenating.
3) Thank You Notes: So many incredible people gave so much to make this trip happen, especially a dedicated team of volunteers who took time off work and their own families for the week. It’s imperative that I let them know how much I appreciate them! When I get back into the office, this is a priority for me.
4) Making Videos, Sharing Photos, Telling the Stories: After the trip is over, it’s imperative that parents and supporters continue to hear the stories of what was achieved on the trip. Again, once I get back in the office, I will be working on sharing videos, photos and stories. We have a Facebook page and mission trip blog for this type of stuff and we will also have an opportunity to share with the whole church at later date.
5) Reviewing: This week I will be writing notes about the trip and ensuring that key learning’s are noted while they are still fresh for me. So often this is something that is missed in the mission trip process. However, this is a crucial step that can ensure a more effective mission trip for the future.
Well, there is one very important thing I missed out of this list that my wife has reminded me of… Today, I am finishing up my laundry and getting my bags all unpacked. The last thing my lovely wife needs when I get home is a huge load of stinky, bug infested laundry, (we had a lot of bugs in our cabins… a Daddy Long Legs walked across my face one night… nice)!
What are priorities for you when you return from a mission trip?