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Topic: Light at the End of the Tunnel( 01/23/14)
The Mission Trip
By Karen Locklear
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The second phase of my prison sentence for the crime they cannot prove I committed: In two days I leave Mexico. And when I say Mexico I mean a mission trip. My job will be to do arts and crafts with little kids who don’t speak English.
Mom keeps saying this is a “blessing” and I will be serving the Lord AND improving my Spanish.
Went to the mall with Mom for last minute supplies.
Ya know, having your kid practically deported is kind of extreme punishment for an act of retaliation. And again, no one can prove I threw away Felicia’s history project.
I almost cried in the sporting goods store as we picked up sun screen. It’s like they think I did this thing and don’t love me anymore.
And they can’t prove anything!
Countdown: Fourteen days
I’m on a bus for six hours with a bunch of college kids and Tina, the youth minister, who apparently has instructions to stick to me like glue because I’m the only minor. Great. My mom is now 24.
Countdown: Thirteen Days
This is boring. I have no freedom. And the only fun I have is with the kids and we don’t speak the same language.
Countdown: Twelve Days
Busy. And I smell. Did I mention it was hot?
Countdown: Eleven Days
I just realized I’ve read the Bible and prayed every day since I left. And not just “Lord, please don’t let me get die of dysentery”, but more like, “Lord, help me keep these kids safe”.
Blame my parents: since “the incident”, they’ve forced personal quiet time on me in the morning AND in the evening. I’m so prayed up it’s ridiculous.
Countdown: Ten Days
We made macaroni necklaces with dry pasta and string. The kids don’t understand a word I say to them, but they know how to color noodles quite well.
Countdown: Nine Days
This guy Doug came in from the church building crew and helped the kids paint. He is really cute. Tina glared at me and made sure he knew I was only sixteen.
I have no idea what my parents told Tina, but I’ll have to thank them later. Yes, I’m being sarcastic.
Countdown: Eight Days
I have a heat rash on my butt. That is all.
Countdown: Seven Days
I miss Mom. Maybe because yesterday one of the kids came to art without shoes. How could his mother not send him in shoes?
And then it occurred to me he might not have any.
Countdown: Six Days
More fun with art. I sent Doug to the village to buy Miguel a pair of shoes. They aren’t good shoes by any stretch, but they are shoes nonetheless.
So no reason to worry about being mugged in town: I’m broke.
Countdown: Five Days
At chapel this evening the minister discussed what God said to Cain, after he gave Him a dud offering: “But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it”.
I had my reasons for chunking Felicia’s history project, but it was wrong. I have to own up. Maybe not to Felecia, but at least to God.
Countdown: Four Days
Tina said she was glad I came on the trip with her. I didn’t say it, but I’m kind of glad I did, too.
Countdown: Three Days
Doug teased me about being miserable and said something about a light at the end of the tunnel. Not sure what this means, but I am totally ready for home.
Countdown: Two days
I’ll miss the kids. What I am doing matters. I think I understand Jesus now: His whole mission had to do with helping people who thought they couldn’t help themselves. He didn’t judge them. He loved them. And loving them feels so much better than judging them anyway.
Even if we all really stink.
I cried on the bus home. Maybe it was because little Pilar gave me a necklace made of macaroni noodles colored with marker. I’ll keep it forever.
Will I do this next summer? I’d like that. But I’m telling my parents I almost died and was kidnapped by black market organ harvesters.
If I change too much, they’d be worried.
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