Sorry for the lack of silence. I've started two posts and haven't finished them. So here is one of them!
How do I describe the joy of having the opportunity last Friday night to meet up with a friend that I met half my lifetime ago?! The summer of 1995, just months before turning 16, I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime -- a 7 (or was it 8?) week mission trip to Honduras. I signed up with Teen Missions not knowing what the summer would hold. Turns out it held a lot - both good and challenging! My faith in God and relationship with Christ grew 100-fold that summer making all the challenges worth it.
Around 30 other teens and 6 leaders (none of whom I knew or met ahead of time) converged at "The Lord's Boot Camp" (yes, it's really called that!) in Florida for 10 days of intense training/preparation. Each team going out had to run a mile or so long obstacle course each morning. Somehow our team was the lucky one who got to go first every morning at 6:00am. And somehow we also had one of the tent sites the furthest away (at least a 1/2 mile). In addition to physical preparation we also had construction-type classes, as well as puppet practice. It was honestly a very grueling 10 days in the hot, humid Florida summer heat (remember I said we were staying in tents!) But in the midst of these challenges some amazing friendships were beginning to be formed.
Our leaders gave us a number in order of our arrival to Boot Camp. You would think after calling my number out a gazillion times I could remember if I was 19, 20 or 21, but I sadly can't. Regardless, it was one of those. The dear friend, Kelley, I met up with last week was number 22. This meant that all summer we were in line near each other as we ordered ourselves numerically. Each time we moved from place to place we had to make sure all members were present and we had to "count off." Anyhoo, Kelley and Josh (who was also near us), kept me in stiches the entire summer since both of them are rather witty and always up for a good time. They, along with many other friends, made the summer what it was - amazing and life-changing. Although many of us do not keep in close contact any more, I still hold them dear to my heart for what we endured together. It was our own sort of "Survivor" experience (except instead of getting to vote people off we had to learn to love each other since we were stuck with one another for so many weeks!).
While I could go on and on and on about this trip, suffice it to say, it was truly wonderful to meet up again with Kelley. Hopefully, since she lives in Nashville and now Mom and Dad do too, maybe we can see a little more of each other.
I had a photo to post, but just realized that I think I accidentally deleted it! Oh no! To see Kelley's cute face, and to hear her version of our time in Honduras, see this post. (Oh, and there are some crazy old [and scary!!!] photos of me on there if you are that hard core and need to see them.)