Summer Reflections: La Familia

Junior Robbie Wooten shares memories from his time at Pico Escondido, a Young Life camp in the Dominican Republic

Robbie (far right, highest in the air) catches some air with his friends.

Sitting at the Study Center, eating Harris Teeter sandwiches and drinking tea with friends, I feel at home once again in Chapel Hill. Cole asks me about my summer, and I begin to panic.  How could I summarize my month-long mission trip in one brief sentence?  I only have one shot before he loses focus.  Here it goes.

“It was amazing… a really life-giving experience. We had such a family down there, working together to build for God’s kingdom in the DR.  Jesus was really with us.” 

I feel pretty satisfied with that answer.  Cole seems interested and happy to hear about it.

Indeed Jesus was with us.  Our community was really close.  We were a family.  I made lifelong friends, around the country and around the globe.  We got so close because we were on mission together.

This was not just any mission, either.  We were living in the middle of poverty, preparing a beautiful Young Life camp for Dominican kids.  We were praying for Jesus to bring his Kingdom of justice and love to the DR, and together we were raking grass to help make it happen.  It was a really exciting mission.

Our community was really close.  We were a family.  I made lifelong friends, around the country and around the globe.

I miss my mission trip friends.  We had a good thing going.  We shared a purpose.  You simply cannot beat the fellowship of co-mission!  I am excited to get back to it soon.  But I am in school for at least one more year.  Am I going to simply look past this year to whatever mission lies beyond?

Drinking my hot breakfast tea at the Study Center, I see a community before my eyes.  These friends are asking me questions.  Brandt makes a silly joke and I laugh.  It is good to be with them.  We are not working together in the DR, but we are sharing life together.  We are encouraging one another.  Seeking to discern God’s call on our lives.  Learning together.

I look down at a book I have found from the Study Center shelf.  It is a proposal for understanding the unity of the New and Old Testaments.  I have heard lots in class about how they supposedly do not line up, but I am beginning to see a cohesive story in the Bible.  It is a story of Justice at work from Genesis to Luke to Revelation, a story of God’s people expanding and growing as a missionary community of friends.  I am realizing I want to be a part of God’s story wherever I am.  I am happy to be living, fellowshipping and studying for just a little bit longer in Chapel Hill.