Bring on the Night

Well, I made it!  Nearly 200 Real Life participants safely made it to Chattanooga, Tennessee to train for trips all over the world.  We have participated in worship, teaching, and bonding experiences, and together, we have grown as a community of Christ.  Our first night really set the tone for the rest of the trip…

We were told to pick three items, in addition to our water, to take with us on our first adventure.  We had no idea what this meant.  Would we be going for a hike?  Would we be building a fire?  Would we be sleeping somewhere else?  We were all unsure of what the future held for us.  We were then told that we would have ONLY these three items until the next morning.  My immediate reaction was, “Say what?!?!”  I like to think that I’m pretty down-to-earth and low-maintenance, but in reality, I highly enjoy my big bed and toothbrush!  After settling down, I decided to bring my sleeping bag, gum, and camera (slightly odd choices, I know).

After collaborating and gathering our three items, Team Panajachel grabbed a map and found a place to set up camp.  We spread out tarps and settled with our sleeping bags there.  We had a fantastic time bonding over our discomfort and this unexpected experience.  This was the first time that I had the opportunity to sleep under the stars, and it was wonderful.

I truly believe that this experience has prepared me for the unexpected experiences that are to come in the next two months.  I’m coming into this mission trip with expectations and preconceived notions that probably won’t come true; because of this, I need to trust that God has a plan and a path set out for my team and me.  He will provide us with what we need, and He will stretch us in ways that push us closer to maximizing our potential and fully becoming the person we’re intended to be.

God has big things in store, and I’d love to have your prayer support along the way.  My immediate prayer requests are safe travel for all Real Life trips on June 7th.  In addition to travel, pray that my team would stay healthy, well rested, and totally dependent on Jesus Christ.

Love in Christ, Mariah

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