Monday, June 08, 2009

Debriefing the Mission Trip

By Mike Woodruff

I’m almost 40 years old. I’ve been a Christian over half that time. I have a master’s degree in divinity, more than a dozen years in ministry, and a job that regularly keeps me in touch with missionaries and leading Christian nationals all over the world. I’ve read about missions, written about missions, raised money for missions, and been on more short-term mission trips than I can immediately recall.

However (drum roll please), when it comes to reentry—that two-week period immediately following cross-cultural outreach—I’m a mess. In fact, more often that not I turn into a puddle of goo. One minute I’m happy. The next I’m in serious need of Prozac. At noon I’m planning a return trip to Guatemala, and at 12:15 p.m. I’m promising to never leave the U.S. again. Right is left and up is down (except when it’s up). Which side of the street do we drive on again? Can I drink the water? What time is it in Kenya right now? Did I really just spend a $1.44 for a cup of coffee? While people are starving? I must not be a Christian!

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