Mission Trip Blues (part 1)

Ben —  July 11, 2011 — 13 Comments

Re-entry, or Mission Trip blues… I’ve got them.

I’ve been back work for a week now. Back to the daily grind and all I can think about is digging a ditch, eating plantains and power bombing 8-10 year olds in the swimming pool.

This trip to Venezuela marks the 4th short-term trip I’ve been on in the last 5 years, and every time I go I get this spiritual high, only to follow by the desire to want to “do more.” This trip was no different, in fact I believe this feeling was magnified, as both Kim and I felt this even more than ever before.

What’s weird is, I think I am “doing more” but what kind of difference am I actually making? Why do I need to see the long-term effects, is that selfish of me? Shouldn’t I learn to be content knowing that His work is being done, and that I’m actually doing what I need to be doing?

This, feeling…

…of not being able to sit still sucks. It bothers me. I lose sleep, but I believe it’s God-given. I even daydream of ideas to make that might make that difference instead of just talking about them, but it is difficult.

So, so difficult.

Images race through my mind of every little thing we saw, we did, and as every emotion imaginable felt like as if they were racing through my body, and through my heart. I mean, there are many places local, that might be very similar to the Jonas Project but… but…

In our community, in fact in our own house it HAS to start there. Kim and I have 3 children. 3 beautiful children that need that same difference being made in their lives, and you can bet they are receiving the love every day that the boys in Venezuela may not be receiving.

This is what we need to do and this is what we need to focus on, because it’s the best thing we can do for those boys right now. Making sure our children get hugged on, kissed on, squeezed on and loved on with our all. After all, we promised them we would, but I also think by showing our 3 children and teaching them to have compassion for ALL children, I believe we’re doing what’s right.


This video by my good friend Andrew is a pretty good visual example of what kind of experience we had down there.


After watching this and somewhat reliving our experience, I can’t help but to think that although we visited and connected with them for a week, leaving sure doesn’t feel like it’s right. Combine this feeling with the fact that people make it a point to let us know that there are things within our community that we can be doing.

My response to those people, is that this does not dismiss the fact that there are also things abroad that still need attention. I think some people paralyze themselves with these thoughts, but I think we should not let this stop us from taking action in either place.

“It’s always easier to make a point than it is to make a difference.”
~ Andy Stanley

13 responses to Mission Trip Blues (part 1)

  1. Exactly how I am feeling also. It’s in your blood to serve internationally and you can’t ignore that, no matter how much needs to be done here.

  2. Great video and shots. I like the one of Ben digging with his shovel. 🙂

    I can tell driving off at then end was enough to cause some emotions. Kids live on relationships. Especially those who never had anyone that cared for them… even their own families.

    Thanks for keeping us updated during your trip Ben.

  3. Love the video. Thanks for sharing, Ben.

    I’ve done short term missions many times… but I look forward to the time when Jen and I can do one together as a married couple. One day, hopefully soon. And then, on top of that, I’d love to take my kids on a trip like this.

    • Oh man, I’m also waiting to be able to take one, if not all of our kids on a trip. Serving w/ Kim is always awesome, the details start getting tough though (sitters/travel/etc…).

      Let me know if you guys would want to do a trip next summer, application time comes around November/December, I’m sure we can get you guys on a trip 🙂

  4. Wow, that video was an amazing picture of your experience. I get it a little more after watching that.

  5. Welcome back, Ben. I’ve experienced similar blues before and know how you feel. Your big heart is encouraging and convicting. Thank you for sharing and serving.

    God bless you, your family and your dreams.

  6. As I read your blog today, I couldn’t help but think of Hebrews 11:13-16, 39-40 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them…And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.

    God Bless!

  7. Bro, I know the feeling! I was going through the same thing after coming back from Brazil back in January.

    • I bet! I remember that trip for you, in fact it was JUST after I started reading your blog I think. Brazil’s a destination I definitely want to hit up, mission trip or vacation, or both…

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