Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Five: Mission Impossible

Revkjarla is in mission trip mode right now, as she gets ready to take a group of youth to DC to do service work around hunger and homelessness issues. So, in that spirit, our FF is Mission Style! So here are your questions:

1) Have you ever been on a mission trip, as a participant or adult chaperone? What was it like?
My family and I (including my mom, sister and our children) all go to Bluff, Utah for a week each year to offer VBS to the Dine' (Navajo) children in the area.  It is a ministry of presence even more than Gospel-spreading.  Relationships are only built over years of going - one year going does not build authenticity in this community.  I usually focus most on the older young women of the group and it has been gratifying to watch them grow into college students.  They are truly breaking cycles of poverty. 
I also am planning a youth mission trip to Bastrop, TX for wildfire disaster clean-up in June.  The youth of St Martin want to travel there to assist.  There is an Episcopal church in town so we are looking forward to working with the people there.

2) What is the worst thing that happened to you/your group on a mission trip (or retreat, or camp, or Habitat for Humanity experience, or something like that--hey, this is YOUR Friday Five, so you get to play it how you would like.)
I was an adult-sponsor (parent) on a trip with middle schoolers from 3 different churches and we stayed at a church.  The church had a septic system that could not handle the capacity of 30 teens plus adults, so the restrooms became unusable.  Having to drive the potty shuttle to the closest Wal-Mart was interesting. 

3) If money were no object, where would you want to go to help and serve? What would you do?
I don't know. I would love to work in NavajoLand as a priest.  I love the people and the land when we travel to Bluff every year.  Once David retires, maybe... 

4) What would be your advice to someone who will be sleeping in a gym with 20 other people for a week?
Modest pajamas - really good blow-up mattress (go to a real camping store) - Ipod for falling asleep - alarm clock - sense of humor 24/7. 

5) Any parting thoughts, stories, or questions you have around the whole theme of Mission Trips?
I have been very mindful of who actually benefits from mission trips after hearing a missionary from South America address the Episcopal Youth Event last year, and listening to one of the God Complex Radio podcasts. It is a complex topic.  Do we unintentionally do more harm than good sometimes?


  1. love your wondrous to do a VBS with your family!
    praying that the church toilets are working where I am going!!!

  2. WOW....I did not know that you did this. I am more than impressed.

  3. can you buy that sense of humour??? I wish you could. Great play.

  4. Missions really run the risk of unintentionally doing harm, especially with in-group comradery being uppermost in our minds. . . . A good friend here used to work with the Navajo with her husband, who died a few years ago.


Please be graceful with me and others!