Tuesday, August 23, 2016

What I did on my Summer Break by Andy Lawrenson

Besides a football camp, two weeks of summer camp, a week of Night Camp . . . 

Our family went on our first family mission trip!  No students, just me, my wife and my kids out traveling the globe.  It was a great trip, not without typical family frustrations and sybling issues, but overall a great experience.

My 7 year old son and a huge spider

For the past two years I have taken a group of students and adults to the island of Eleuthera to serve at Camp Bahamas and to do outreach in the park to the children of Tarpum Bay.  Both trips were great successes and we had a wonderful experience and were able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Coming home, as you know if you have been on a trip, you are excited and full of stories.  Sometimes you share stories but you know the persons you are sharing with isn’t getting the full picture, this is how I felt with my family.  

I decided we would go on a family mission trip and my wife graciously agreed with me,
Our twins helping with laundry
so I chose Eleuthera and Camp Bahamas.  What a great time we had serving together.  We served meals in the kitchen and did dishes.  Misha did load after load of summer camp laundry since camp had just finished the week before.  The camp provides linens for over a 100 campers each week and has one clothes washer and clothes lines to dry the linens.  She also sorted through clothes that were left behind discarding the worn out clothes and washing the clothes that were in good condition to be donated to those in need.  On top of that she wrangled our seven year old twins.

My 12 year old helping me build frames
I scrubbed the deck outside the dining hall.  I also built frames for the banners that hang in the gym with each year’s camp theme.  My eldest man-child joined me and helped me rip 2x4’s using the table saw and then cut and drill and screw the frames together.  It was cool to have him helping me.  

My seven year old daughter jumped in with the student team from Thomas Road Baptist Church, they were at the camp serving the first part of our trip, and helped them organize the storage closets in the gymnasium.  She loved getting to help the big kids and I peeked in and she was actually helping and working.  I even got to do my favorite thing to do and cook a little bit.

We were able to join TRBC’s students for the park outreach. It was great for my kids to get to experience the children who live in a totally different culture and environment than my kids live in.

The purpose for the trip was three-fold:
Get away together as a family and experience a different culture
Expose my children to foreign missions
Serve Camp Bahamas and teach my kids more about serving with a hands on approach

Suggestions for planning a family mission trip:

1.  Pick a place you have been before or are familiar with or have connections there
2.  Pick a place you have a passion for
3.  Have conversations in advance with your children to prepare them for what they will see and experience.  Talk about what serving is all about
4.  Plan to have fun while you are there.  Take time out to do something fun together.

Enjoying our "off" day
If you have any questions about taking a family mission trip or have been on one I would love to hear about it.  If you want to know more about Camp Bahamas Missions you can go HERE.

Our daughter and some TRBC students at the Tarpum Bay park

My son out shooting hoops at the park

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