July 22, 2009

Day 1: Ready. . .

We’re here. We’re safe. And we’re tired. I might see 2:30 a.m. once in a while as a bedtime. But, as a waking up time? Never.

Today was a first and by 3:07 a.m. Dan, the kids and I joined our group of 30 at church to take a bus to Newark airport. And even though I’ve been awake for 13 hours, my thoughts haven’t wandered far from “I am so tired. I need to take a nap.” I’m not proud to admit, but I’m a baby about my sleep!

Today, however, is a “buck up little camper” day! And buck up we’re doing.
And it’s going great so far. We’ve arrived in the Dominican Republic, safely, with all our luggage and without incident. Right now we’re in the Foundation house where we’ll be staying, enjoying one of the few down times we’ll have. The kitchen staff is making dinner and the delicious smells blanket the house. A bunch of us are hanging out in the common room chatting. Some are unpacking supplies. The medically-oriented among us are meeting on the porch to plan the week’s medical activities. A few are catching some shut eye. Someone is playing Viva la Vida on a tinny piano down in the living room. And the kids, including my son, are outside playing soccer. “It fun speaking Spanish!” he excitedly proclaimed.

In no time at all, we’re settling in. I can’t speak for the group, but I think most of us are excited to get a good night’s sleep (which won’t come for at five more hours) and really start our DR experience. Tonight after dinner we’ll attend a church service with the Dominicans that we’ll be working with. I have a feeling it’ll be a worship experience unlike most of us have ever been a part of.

As my sleep-deprived mind tries to process the sights, smells and sounds, a few of the day’s highlights spring to mind, like:

Watching the blazing orange sun rise over the New York City skyline.
  • Starting to bond with our group and realizing there's been no whining or melt downs by anyone.

  • Realizing that after months and months of planning, this trip is really happening.

  • Meeting our wonderfully enthusiastic in-country team, Anna and J.J.

  • Being serenaded on the bus from the airport by a few of the children from the church we’re working with.

  • Enjoying a general sense of joined purpose and anticipation.
I don’t have any deep spiritual insights to share today, but I do have an overarching sense that all is well. We’re here. . .and we’re ready.

P.S. In the time that I’ve written this, the nine chatty people sitting around me have ceased talking and have all nodded off!

The call just came in..."Time for dinner!"


Saleslady371 said...

Have a wonderful mission trip and enjoy serving the Lord with your family. I look forward to hearing all about it!

Cheryl Barker said...

The common bond of serving together on a mission team is so great. Enjoy it and every other part of your trip as well. May God bless in amazing ways!

Laura said...

I am praying for you, Kelligirl! What an awesome opportunity; sounds like it's getting off to a sweet start.

Praying for Jesus to move powerfully through you and your co-workers.


Jody Hedlund said...

Oooh! Thanks for updating us! I'm really excited for you! Keep us posted! And get some sleep already!

Theresa said...

Praying for your journey. I am a sleep princess too...Gotta have it! But usually can do it anywhere.

May you be blessed and be a blessing to all you come across!!

Sue J. said...

Wasn't expecting that you'd be posting--what a treat!

Hope you were able to get some shut-eye after dinner and worship; sounds like the perfect ushering into sleep, actually--awash in God's peace and provision! He's good all the time and everywhere!!

Pace yourself....Glad you are all well!

Carmen said...

I'm a baby about my sleep too and so far it looks like I'm not getting any tonight either (1:25 AM, sigh).

Glad to hear you've arrived safely and are settling in. I pray you'll have a life changing, heart re-arranging experience. Not because you need it necessarily, but because that's what God does for us. My thoughts are with you! Hope you get a good sleep!

Peggy said...

Dear Kelli,
On the way to work yesterday I saw all the cars parked in the back lot and I pulled in and said a prayer for all of you.
Glad you made it safe and sound and are now in the care of God and your Dominican hosts.
Give my love to all.
Blessings and Love....Peggy

Anonymous said...

Greetings from your fellow Bahamas Missionaries! We're on Day 5 and God has done awesome things with our hands and feet! We painted 6 houses, rehabbed 2 and dug and planted 20 gardens! God is good. We had an amazing Bahamian Worship experience last night - when do u ever see Sr High Youth doing the Conga line for Christ? Our hands still sting from the clapping! We are bug bitten, tired beyond belief and the dirtiest we've EVER been, and we are SO blessed to be serving a God who renews and rebuilds. We've made many Bahamian friends -- Dan even had his hair braided and we've seen our sr high kids grow and blossom in his service! Love and blessings to you all! Woodside Bahamas Team --

d said...

Oh my wonderful children of the Lord. You did it and you're there.
Now I can worry, and pray and wish all the best for your whole group!
I'm so very proud to say I am the aunt of Kelli and Dan and Coti and Connor. I know you will improve on life there as you improve on it every where y'all go. I'm glad I can follow with your blog. Thank you for that. Be safe, I love you all. Aunt Dorothea