I would like to be a seasoned world traveler, but I can't claim that title. The last stamp on my passport is dated 2008. I was over joyed at the prospect of getting to come on this trip and now I'm overwhelmed with happiness. I was even pretty optimistic when our luggage was missing, because well at least I'm here. Things are different here and that's a good thing. Even the lack of traffic laws make things exciting.
Today we did touristy things. We visited a castle built during the Ottoman Empire, we did some shopping and ate an excellent Lebanese meal (another different thing is that pita bread here is actually good).
What I have come to detest about mission trips is a lack of relationship. Often Americans in our arrogant nature think we can drop down into a situation and be the saviors. We sometimes imagine we can spend a week in a place and change the world. That isn't often true. We don't do anything. God does, and God works in relationship. It has been a joy today to see my friends and fellow Calvarians greet and catch up with their Lebanese friends. Calvary is not in the business of drop in evangelism. Calvary and its people have a deep relationship with the staff at Dar El Awald. It starts, I think generations before us with Tim's family and with Sheila's and they have blessed us now with a love for this place.
I've made new friends today and I've watched as my old friends caught up with friends they already knew. Relationships are deep here and the boys haven't even come back from their weekend yet. I can't wait to see them and my fellow trip members who have been before can't wait to see them again. They've anticipated their arrival by name and I can't wait to meet them and have fun and learn together. Mission happens best in the context of relationship.
Oh and our bags arrived. Thanks for the prayers for that. Also, pray we get some more rest tomorrow and for us as we prepare for the kids on Monday.