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A family mission trip – 3 years later

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
By Seth Barnes
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 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!

Comments (6)

  • This is such an amazing testimony of how God worked and continues to work through faith and trust! Incredible!

  • AMAZING! God is so good! Seth, thank you for putting it out there like that! God trusts you, and that is why these stories are alive!

  • I am part of this family, and it is completely true. Us girls (and mark and reid) are tightly bonded. I could call up any one of them with any problem I might have and know that they would be there fully. I absolutely love these girls and I know that God brought us all together for a special reason, and it is so neat to be a part of! Thanks for all you do for AIM, Seth.

  • I am also a member of this group of sisters (and a couple of brothers ;)). We still call or facebook or email each other important information and keep updated with each other. There’s never too much time that passes before someone in the group sends a group email or facebook message to check up on everyone (get new addresses, see how life is going, talk about college struggles, or tell about important news like weddings and babies to come). It’s so great to be a part of this family and they are always some of the first people I go to when I have anything important to share. Even though we all live in different states and only get to see each other every year (or less if we can’t make the reunions) we still stay in close contact and everyone who is close to me here in Indiana knows all about my “DR girls” as I call them (even though this includes Reid and Mark, too). My sophomore year of college I was seeking out new churches and experienced a lot spiritually and called Mark with my concerns and questions. He has always been more than willing to be a second father-figure to all of us girls and I think we all feel like we can go to him to help guide and direct us in our lives. He has been a big part of why we are all still so close today.
    Thanks for posting this about our team.

  • I am curious if AIM has any trips that would be geared towards a family with 3rd-5th graders in mind? I would love to brainstorm some ideas with you if you interested. We have been doing some research into the impact these years have on a person’s life. My thought was to incorporate a mission trip into a child’s life…and discover what sort of impact that has on them as an adult.

  • YAY DR-FAMILY! We are soon to reunite!

    Thanks for starying in tune with the Holy Spirit and pushing our team Seth!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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