Although these trips have similarities, each is unique. We travel with open hearts and open minds. Full of expectancy but empty of expectations. The overall vision is the same: build a chapel, build relationships, and share the good news. The details differ every year. This year there won’t be a Roberto or Renato. We won’t see the warm smiles of Ivan, Paula, and Vivi. No Douglas, Dani, Regicleide, or Pablo.
That’s okay, though. Those marvelous memories are past. The future is a blank page, aching to be filled with new stories.
I journal as I go. Each page slowly fills with miracles and reflections. Times of wonder and times of insight. It is a time of refining…painfully burning away pride and assumptions to reveal a deeper truth. It isn’t always pleasant, but it is necessary.
Clearing away clutter allows growth.
It’s a time of renewal…pushing away from the safety of the comfort zone opens up space to spiritually reconnect and refuel.
The journal mirrors the journey. Not just the journey to Brazil, but the journey of life. The future is full of blank pages yearning to be filled.
It’s easy to get comfortable. It’s easy to get complacent. We surround ourselves with people who look and think like us. We turn off our brain as we fill our eyes with the latest distraction, leaving those blank journal pages empty. We miss the significance of life. We miss out on life’s meaning.
These annual trips are reminders to stretch…to push away from life’s ordinary routines. Joy isn’t found in the middle of comfort. It can be found by fearlessly venturing forward, into the blank pages of the future.