Team Leader – an update on my son’s trip abroad

My son flew out last Monday with his team. They’re headed to a country I’ll leave unnamed, as their presence is officially listed as being volunteers for a school that has invited them to visit for a few weeks. That’s all true; the local contact for the work they’re doing runs the school. But that same person is also the contact for some small churches that need assistance in establishing ministries, such as children’s programming and youth ministry.

These are areas my son has worked in extensively, as you’ll see in a moment. He also has experience in this particular country; he first visited when he was 17 as part of a team from a friend’s church, then another team trip two years ago, and then last summer he went on his own when the school head invited him for a visit and volunteer work.

This year he’s leading a team for the first time. It’s smaller than the other teams he’s gone there with, but it’s also the first team that our local church has sent.

The team at one of their training sessions this past Spring (our son is on the left)

The team at one of their training sessions this past spring. (Our son is on the left)

After a week in-country, he shared this testimony with one of the churches this past weekend:

Hi everyone. My name is Kyle. I’m 23 years old. My teammates and I are all from California.

I first came to [this country] in 2008. After spending a week with the children of the _______ village, I was in love with [your country]. I love everything about this country: the food, the beaches, and especially the people.

I think there’s something special about the people here. I work with the youth a lot at my church in California. I work with junior high kids, and run camps for elementary aged kids. I even worked in the nursery for a few years. But working with the youth in America doesn’t give me the same joy as working with the youth here. There’s something special about __________.

This is my fourth time back to __________, and every year I have met a group of people that make me feel like I never want to leave their side. The first year it was [the village of ______], then it was the youth in [___________ village], and last year it was the friends I made [at the coffee house in the city of __________].

I think one of the reasons for this is that everyone here in [your country] is so friendly and loving. I want to get to know all of you, and fellowship in Christ’s love with you, and I feel like that is really easy to do for foreigners like us because of how welcoming and hospitable everyone here is.

Thank you for inviting us to your church today, and for this opportunity for us to worship with you and share a little bit of our story with you. It is only because of God that we are here, and we thank him for providing your church as our gracious host while we are in [the village of ____ _____].

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9 Responses to Team Leader – an update on my son’s trip abroad

  1. Kathleen says:

    This just makes me think that heaven will be this way. We’ll all have this common connection to our Savior that will make us want to worship together; totally comfortable with each other, totally understanding; though different backgrounds, cultures, histories, time periods… It’s going to awesome! Thanks for sharing the taste your son got of it!

  2. Nancy Van Wyck says:

    Your son sounds like a very special young man. Our daughter lived in Chile for seven years and could not say enough about the nice people who lived there, but they missed there family so had to make the decision to sell there home and come back here. So I can see how your son must feel where he is. You must be very proud of him.

  3. I know which country he’ll be in, since it is one that I have a heartstring for, but I’ll keep it quiet. I am so proud of him with you and am glad that his heart is so drawn to it. I hope he’s been able to find full funding for it and that God uses him to spread the gospel and help the people there! Do you think he’ll eventually go there as a permanent missionary?

    I am SO behind in reading your blog. I haven’t been online much lately and apologize for it. . .

    • Tim says:

      No apologies, Victoria! Life gets busy and then it gets busier, especailly when you have two little ones.

      We have no idea if he’ll end up overseas permanently or not, but he loves serving there and we are so glad he gets to reconnect with people he’s come to know and love, and that he gets to meet and serve new people that God brings into his life on this trip too.

      • Okay good. I know you don’t read mine lately either, so it all makes sense. . life is just like that sometimes.

        I assume he is in the southern part of that country, right? . . .would be very rough in the northern. Does he ever go into the surrounding countries too? I would have a million questions for your son. I love listening to missionaries (I consider him to be one, especially since he has been there so many times to do the work of Christ).

  4. Pingback: Making Good Choices – an update on my son’s adventures abroad | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

  5. Pingback: Coffee, Collisions and Kids – My Son’s on a Mission | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

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