This summer, for the third time in 10 years, I’ve gotten to take a trip to my happy place.
You see, in 2004, our youth group got the chance to visit with our sister church in Mandeville, Jamaica. We gained some awesome friendships (more about that later) and a home away from home that we couldn’t wait to return to.
Fast-forward to 2009, when I went back, this time not as a “youth” but as a “chaperone.” I’m going to go ahead and leave that one in quotes because I still don’t believe I should be in charge of anything ever. But people keep asking me to be…
This exchange – us going to Jamaica and our friends coming here – started because of an amazing youth leader/associate pastor we’ve had for the past 10 years.
Earlier this year, we had the unfortunate and gut-wrenching task of saying goodbye to her as she moved on from the church and myself and two other young adults tried desperately to keep our heads above water and come even the slightest bit close to filling one of the toes of those shoes.
One big thing to contend with in her absence was this exchange program. For the first time, it fell on me to get it all together. Again – why am I in charge of things? I’m not old enough to be. Definitely not mature enough.
Long story short, because of the amazing foundation she’d built and all she’d prepared for us within the church, the trip this summer went off without a hitch.
I went to Jamaica for the third time this summer and have it on good authority that that makes me officially Jamaican.
Along with me this time were six of my youth group babies (aka my high schoolers) and, for part of the week, our pastor.
I’ve got so much to tell you about this trip but you’re 300 words in now so I’ll give you a break until next time. For now, look at just a few of the pictures I took. (Don’t worry you’ll get more later.)
I filled up my memory card that week, you guys. That’s like 1,000 pictures.
I’m tellin’ ya. Happy place. Stay tuned.