Last week, I along with 44 other adults and 177 high school students traveled to Orlando, FL to partner with YWAM Orlando in helping revitalize an old run down camp they purchased recently. Before this trip, I knew very little about YWAM and Florida for that matter. Ive come home with new appreciation for my home, for people who do missions work full time – I came home refreshed. Let me explain.

I by no means came home physically or emotionally refresh, just about the opposite. I lived in an “army tent” with 24 teenage girls and 3 other ladies. My bed was a cot that fit my body and just that. Our bathrooms where in three parts: port-a-potty, pump by foot sinks, and showers that where made out of trash bags and wood, that only had cold water. The A/C in the army tents worked half the time. The first night the A/C did not work and I thought I might pack my bags that night and figure out someway home. IT WAS SO HOT. It would of been cooler to sleep outside, but fear of being eaten alive by bug I did not. By the way, I thought it was Texas where everything is bigger, but apparently Florida borrowed that because my gosh the bugs where massive there! And of course, everywhere. Also on you, eating you, no matter how much bug spray you just put on. But back to the heat, where the temperature read 93, but right next to it in tiny letters read: feels like 104. I thought North Carolina humidity was bad, but it has nothing on the humidity in Florida. I did not stop sweating the entire time I was there. After day 3 of this, I finally came to grips with my reality and told myself I was just going to be wet the rest of the trip. Things started to get better after that. After I came to terms with the bugs, the lack of AC, the gallons of sweat I created because my California blood does not do humidity. In the mist all of this, I knew I wouldnt trade being at home in my AC home, with my comfy bed, and all the comforts I have grown close to.

Ive been on missions trip in the past. To other parts of the world where I see things that have shaken my world. My very cushy America living world. This trip reminded me, refreshed my mind of those people out there who live like this all the time. And on purpose. I know I didnt come back changed, because that would mean I would do something drastically different. I wouldnt in a week or two forget all that I had been refreshed of. I would sell things that make me comfortable and give that money to the people who dont know what comfortable life is. I want to say I would do that, but I know I wont. And if that makes me a bad person but putting that out into the internet, let me be the first to say I am. I wish I could be the type of person that after an experience that makes you realize how much you really have, you’d do something about it. I did walk away from this trip being grateful that my toilet, that flushes. My sink, that I can turn on by a handle. A shower, that is private with warm water. On top of the fact that all these things are within one room.

See what I mean? I want to be refreshed more often that I should be grateful that my toilet flushes. I will take that for granted because thats the life I am used to leading. I wish my heart was bigger or my mind was not so me and my comfort focused that I wouldnt forget this renewed thought of being grateful, even for the tiny things. I didnt mention that one of the YWAM staff, for permit reasons, build these army tents that we slept in his backyard. And dig a trench for the shower water to run down to along side of yard. And in his front yard was where the port-a-potty and sinks where. Would I be so willing to have the same in my yard for people I never meet? High schoolers even?

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