Some people wondered why I was taking an eight-year-old boy to a foreign country. Some people were surprised I was taking my third-grade boy. Some people encouraged me to take Ben.
I’m here to say, I’m glad I took Ben to Guatemala for a week-long mission trip.
Cate, who is now eleven, went with Greg and me in 2015. I always assumed when we went back we’d bring Ben. We debated on going last year but for various reasons I knew and others I still don’t know I knew we needed to wait.
My momma heart thinks God may have been waiting for the right time for Ben. He’s a very different kid than Cate (what siblings aren’t, right?), but I’m grateful he experienced this country we’ve come to love through our service. Honestly, while preparing for this trip, I struggled more with leaving Rachel than I did with taking Ben.
In almost every way, having Ben with us was easier than I expected. He bravely connected with other kids with whom he didn’t share a language. But he shared suckers and gum and toy cars and Legos.
Ben takes medicine twice daily and he was on an antibiotic to heal the infection that had to be drained from an abscess just a couple days before we left. So I brought a bag of medicine for him and included other things I thought we might need.
Turns out we needed the ibuprofen and a teammate’s Tylenol after Ben tripped and fell into a pool without water on our last night in Guatemala. He landed with his knee twisted and we really thought it was messed up. It swelled and he hurt. But then he woke up ready to walk on it.
We consider that a miracle.
We also were relieved he didn’t fall down the mountain where he chased chickens in moments between helping us build a home for a family of seven. We loved seeing him bond with Marvin, who works with Bethel Ministries International, and Joshua, whose birthdate is two days before Ben and who is the son of my missionary friend Hannah. We loved to see his smile help others smile.
Really, living with Ben shows me ordinary miracles regularly. He’s spunky and adventurous. He’s brave and curious. He’s sweet and remembers more than anyone thinks he does.
He finds joy in everyday moments. His strengths are my weaknesses. God uses my boy for my good and the good of many around him.
That’s why I wanted to take him to Guatemala. Plus we believe in serving as a family, so as a family we go wherever God leads us.
This is the third post I’ve shared about our mission trip to Guatemala. You can read about what God showed me about intentional sacrifices as well as seven ways to serve missionaries. I’ve got another post or two brewing, so let me know if there’s a specific aspect of the trip you want to hear about or questions I can answer.
Hey, #PorchStories friends! You may have noticed, I started publishing this weekly linkup post a couple hours earlier, so now it’s live at 4 a.m. central time. I know some of you are early risers, so I hope that’s helpful!