Family Trip – God’s Intention and my Complete Misinterpretation
Last week we hosted our first mission group of 2014. One father, who brought his family on the trip, reflects on how God pushed him to a greater view of the definition of family. Give it up for Kendal Quinn:
It was a Sunday in December when Alan got in front of Oak City Church. He had come to announce that SuNica was taking a trip to Nicaragua in January and that we were all invited. I was by myself that Sunday as my wife, Lisa, was working. And God instantly put the thought in my head that I should take my entire family on this trip: Lisa, myself and our two daughters, Regan (three) and Brynna (five). This wasn’t a decision I would’ve considered on my own, but God placed it on my heart.
I drove home from church that afternoon with the girls in tow, and the thought continued to weigh heavy on me. When Lisa got home that night, I didn’t ask her what her thoughts were on being part of this trip. I simply said, “We’re going to Nicaragua as a family on January 16 with SuNica.” She looked at me and very simply replied with a head tilt and a nod, “Okay.” There was no hesitation from either of us; it was just understood.
After a couple of days, however, I did grow a bit concerned that Alan and Josh may not agree that going as a family was the best idea. But to my surprise, when I asked them about it, Josh replied immediately, saying, “Heck yeah! Bring them all!” Done.
So there you have it. God called us to go on this trip as a family. So we answered. End of story, right? Oh man, I couldn’t have been more incorrect in my interpretation of what God meant by “family trip.” Wait, me incorrectly interpreting what God is trying to tell me? Ha, story of my life! So remember how I thought God was calling me take my immediate family on a mission trip? Well, the first full day after we returned from Nicaragua, I realized that I’d missed the point.
I think I speak for everyone involved with this trip, both those from the states and those from Nicaragua, when I say this: what we experienced in the brief week we were together was nothing short of God’s perfect plan in action. There we were, a core group of 15-20 people from different walks of life, living and serving as one. From the very fist day until we said our goodbyes, we were a family unit. We are a family unit.
We are one big family as brothers and sisters in Christ. From the orphans we visited to the villagers with whom we spent a great deal of time to the children of El Limonal. When God called me to “family trip,” this is what He meant, not my selfish interpretation of family. His notion of “family” is vastly greater and richer than my own.
The love experienced and the relationships created and strengthened on this amazing trip were made possible only because Christ first loved us. It's an understatement to say that I’m thankful to have been reminded that, through Christ, we’re all family. Furthermore, I’d say I’m unequivocally blessed that God chose to reveal the extent of my family to me while living life for 8 days with beautiful people in a beautiful country, Nicaragua.