Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Vacations with a purpose

Barbara and I returned this past week from a cruise to the Caribbean. It was relaxing and I do enjoy cruising and the time away. But I have to admit it is an exercise in pure selfish indulgence. Just eat and lay around. Eat, relax, eat, play games, eat some more. The everywhere. Literally 24/7. You can't get away from it. They have it available everywhere you turn and when you waddle up to your cabin after a full day and night of stuffing your face and laying around you find they have left candy on your bed!
Barbara and I do love to travel but I'd much rather be going on a mission trip than a cruise. While on the curise I found myself comparing it to the mission trips we take each year. And they just don't compare. Given the choice between going on a mission trip or cruise, I'd pick the mission trip every time. Why? Here are just a few reasons.
  • A mission trip gives you a sense of accomplishment, giving yourself instead of just getting and consuming.
  • A mission trip allows you to really get to know the people of the place you are visiting. You not only meet them but you become life long friends with people who are very different yet who seem to relate to you better than many back home.
  • You always travel with a team on a mission trip and get to work together, serve together and worship togther. You always have another group of life long friends when you come home.
  • A mission trip teaches you many things about yourself, the people of the country you serve and the God we worship. About all I learn from a cruise is how selfish I am.

Mission trips are really vacations with a purpose. Those who go will almost unanimously tell you that they are life changing experiences that they would not trade for anything. Cruises are fun but they can't measure to a mission trip. When I think back to my travels to Sudan, Kenya and Brazil these will always be the memories that I cherish the most.

1 comment:

David said...

Great post, I couldn't agree more.
While I love nature, sight-seeing, and soaking in the history of various locales, it doesn't compare to being part of a mission trip. Each time I've gotten that list of things I enjoy, but they are dwarfed by the relationships built, the perspective I gain into another culture (and my own), and certainly the sense of accomplishment, meaning, and purpose.

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