Leaving Jamaica is bitter sweet. We have families, jobs, friends, school and so much more waiting for us when we get back home. But for a solid week it feels like every step you take and every word you speak has so much more power and impact for the Kingdom of God. You look at the faces of those that you have worked with night and day for a week and you make plans to return in a year. Jamaica is great place full of wonderful people. It is also a very hard and difficult place. There are no jobs for the people to get so they do what they can to survive. For some that means picking fruit from the mountains and hoping someone will buy on the streets, for others that means stealing what you need. Resorts line the coast, on the other side of their walls are people doing anything they can to survive, most of the time with a grin on their face. Ya mon!
Off we go through security checks and customs. It takes a full day to get back; a 2 hour drive from Seville, an hour through security, the 2 hour flight home, another hour and a half through USA customs and then the 4 hour ride home from Orlando. Every mile we try to hang on to what seems like memories getting further and further away. “No worries” Jamaican friends, we will be back.
By the way, I (Haley) got stopped for a security check at every security check point.
Something really crazy that happens when you return from a mission trip, talk to any one who has been on a mission trip and they will tell you. Post Mission Depression is real and affects everyone at different times and in different ways. There is something very emotional and deeply spiritual about pouring your life into someone else for a solid week and then having to say goodbye. Being in a different place with a bunch of people who are very like minded and working toward the same goal of God’s glorification among another people group and then coming back to the “real” world, your everyday life.
A simple picture of a kid whose smile has brought you so much joy for a week can bring a flood of tears. Sitting at your desk and looking out the window can take you back to the hillside where you poured out your sweat. Sitting down in your house and no one being around can make you question what God has your here on earth for. No matter how it affects an individual it is real and it is God working in your life after the trip. For our team, take it in. Your feelings are real and the relationships you made and impacted over the week will ripple throughout eternity. God has big plan, keep walking where He is leading.
Please pray for our team as they come back to their normal lives. Pray that the mission doesn’t stop because they came back home. Pray their hearts overflow with love toward the people around them wherever they are as they remember.