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A family mission trip – 3 years later

admin ajax.php?action=kernel&p=image&src=%7B%22file%22%3A%22wp content%2Fuploads%2F2022%2F10%2FAlmand DR trip
I wish more families understood the power of a family mission trip. Our friends Mark and Kathryn Almand took their family on a mission trip three years ago (see my blog about it here). Not only did it have a profound impact on their family and the other team members, but the team has continued to…
By Seth Barnes
Almand DR tripI wish more families understood the power of a family mission trip. Our friends Mark and Kathryn Almand took their family on a mission trip three years ago (see my blog about it here). Not only did it have a profound impact on their family and the other team members, but the team has continued to stay in touch since then. Mark just wrote me this email about it:

Seth, I wanted to give you a quick update on what’s happened with the DR 2006 Ambassador team since our trip three years ago.
 
You remember the incredible bond that developed between the 17 participants on this trip — all girls. The events leading up to training camp are what made it possible.
 
We had started a team blog. At first it was all about dates of departure, passports, what to wear, things like that. Especially what to wear! Then one of our participants casually mentioned that she was struggling with thoughts of suicide. I called you concerned about whether to allow this person to go on the trip. I was concerned that she would put the rest of the team at risk, far away from home, with little support structure around us. I was worried about what would happen to AIM in such a scenario. You heard me out and immediately said, “Don’t worry about the risks. God will take care of the team and he will take care of AIM.
 
“Find out if Lauren will talk openly with the group. If she will, hold a conference call with everyone in the group, turn the thing over to Lauren and then let the group minister to her.
 
“Look,” you said, “this is an opportunity to create community now, even before training camp, even before getting into the field. If Lauren will agree to do it, you will see the most amazing ministry happen when you get into the field.”
 
Kathryn and I called Lauren and prayed with her. She said she was in: “Whatever will enable God to redeem this,” she said. We called the team together for a conference call, told them one of the girls had something to say, and turned it over to Lauren. She bared her sole. I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say there was some history there and Lauren was open and brave.
 
The team had several more calls over the next several months. When they arrived at the Atlanta airport for training camp, tears flowed. This was not an introduction. It was a reunion. The community had formed.
 
It has been three years since, and it continues. The team is planning its third reunion: this one at our house this summer. I expect about 80% participation.
 
Thanks for pushing me three years ago. But more important, thanks for putting AIM on the line. As you told me then, “Mark, it’s not the organization. It’s the people. Watch: God is going to do something here.”
 
How right you were!
 
Mark

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