Papa said, "Let's send him on a trip. One he will love. One where he can make a difference. One he will never forget." Well, those weren't Papa's exact words, but that was the end result.
This grandma volunteered as the chaperone (as in "Me. Me. Choose ME! Can I go? PleasePleasePlease.") because I am crazy about my grandkids and I love mission trips. We would go to Guatemala, stay with his other Mimi and Pawpaw, (His Appointed Time Ministries) who had left West Texas when he was a month old to follow God's call.
From the beginning we dubbed it, Harrison's Mission Trip. He suggested we bring stuffed animals and candy for the children, and Spanish Language Bibles for the adults. We agreed that we would just do whatever Mimi and Papaw did every day and not expect to be entertained. When we finally got packed, we had two 50 pound suitcases full of donated beanie babies, childrens' shoes, and Bibles.
Of course, the baggage handlers inspected and let the air out of all our babies' ziplocked travelling bags. I had even labeled the bags so anyone with questions would know their purpose. I'm sure they were glad to get out and stretch their stiff little arms and legs!
Upon arrival, we got busy putting together gift bags of animals, coloring books, crayolas, candy and cookies. I think we made about 500 gift bags.
We went to Gerizim Christian School , which is supported by Mimi and Papaw and their many supporters,
and to three government schools that have very few resources for the children.
At the government schools, we were not only welcomed, but actually honored by the village leaders at one school. They brought cake and orange drink as a thank you for the gifts of that day, for the clean water system being installed by this ministry, and for Papaw's regular delivery of food and vitamins for the children.
We stopped for children in the villages and on the streets to bless them with a little something. It's not much to our children in the U.S.,
but who knows what kind of homelife these beautiful children have.
We delivered food and Bibles.
Those appreciative faces say it all!
Harrison help build a couple of clean burning stoves in homes with open pit barrels for cook stoves.
And of course he had some great conversations with his Mimi.
It was a trip he loved. It was a trip where he made a difference. It was a trip he will never forget.
It was a trip I loved. It was a trip where I hope I made a difference. It was a trip I will never forget. It was a trip of a lifetime.
And this is another teenager, in another decade, with another group of non-English speaking children. We were at Socorro, Texas, on the banks of the Rio Grande River, the Mexican border in 196?. Yes, it is me, a hundred lifetimes ago.
My memory is somewhat blurred about everything we did there, but I suppose they snagged my heart way back then. I hope we made a difference.
Billy Graham has said, "The greatest legacy one can pass on to one's grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith." That is the legacy we are trying to pass on.
For those of you who contributed to his cause, Harrison and I thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for giving to the Lord.