When she asked what we thought of her going on a mission trip to Haiti the Big Guy and I thought it sounded great....fun, enlightening, good for her, good for them. Unfortunately there wasn't a lot of deep thought going on before the papers were signed and the deposits made...and there is a big difference between what sounds good and what sometimes is good.
When the "thinking" deepened and plans solidified so did the preparations. Leadership training at church (for the oldest Wild One), passport obtainment (with all the challenges of getting an underage child out of the country with no parent....which is actually easier than getting one out with only one parent)...travel clinics with all the warnings: typhoid, hepatitis, flu, tetanus, rabies, malaria, clean drinking water, slums, thieves, pedestrian safety, guard dogs and their last question to me, "Have you thought about travel insurance...incase she needs to be airlifted to Miami?" (Nooooo!)...internet research which I could have done without: US warnings against travel to areas including Haiti.
I thought I had gotten past that, talked myself into trusting that we had made the right decision. That was until we left her at the airport at four in the morning. The Big Guy and I left...he held my hand and didn't mention the tears. The ride home was pretty quiet, we talked about work and our schedule and then went about our day. It wasn't until later that night when we were getting ready to leave for an LAX game that we allowed ourselves to let it out.
We looked at each other and simultaneously said, "What have we done?"
We have both commented in the past about news stories describing terrible things happening to missionaries, wondering why they would put themselves at such risk. What were they thinking? We started giggling through our (OK my) tears knowing that we were now a part of this craziness. In the same moment we both realized that what we had done...we allowed our daughter to make a choice, to live in the moment and not be held back by fear. We have taught our kids to live for what they believe, what makes them happy and to not let obstacles get in the way.
I can't put in words how proud I am of my baby girl!
And no, I won't sleep well until she is safely home, but in the mean time I know she is exactly where she is meant to be.
Healing Haiti Woodridge Church