It’s Tuesday morning and in less than four days I will be on an airplane headed to Phoenix. Did I say only four days? My head spins just thinking about all the things I have to do between now and then. I have papers to write, presentations to present, tests to study for, and on top of all of that, a bag to pack. Usually the week before a trip I have already begun preparing. I get my laundry done, and I begin setting out all the outfits and things I think I will need while I am away. Not this time. My room is a disaster, and I have a mountain of dirty laundry the size of my closet. My duffle bag is still tucked away under my bed not even aware of the adventure that is about to take place.
This all makes me very anxious. What if I don’t get good grades on my assignments? What clothes should I pack? Should I bring a hair dryer or will I even have time for that? What if I forget something? And then I remember the meaning of the trip and the reason for why I am going. The Lost Boys left Africa with a little less than nothing. They didn’t know where they were going or if they’d ever come back. Would they ever even see their family or friends again? It is so easy to get carried away in things that are so trivial. It’s embarrassing sometimes to realize the things that seem important to me. Am I really worried about a hair dryer? Whiteness.
This trip is going to be such an adventure. I cannot wait to hear the stories of the people I meet. This may sound selfish, but I need their stories. I need to hear the power in their testimonies and the hope in their voice. I want to hear something real, something above myself. I need to learn from these men, about what real struggles are and what true hope is. This morning I am struggling with all the things I take for granted, and all the things I worry so much about. When in the scheme of things they barely matter at all. I can learn so much on this trip, which is why I am so excited about it. I only hope that I can give something back to these men in return. With that in mind, there are a few things I know I must pack; open ears for listening, an open mind for learning, and a heart that is caring. But even more importantly the souvenir that I cannot forget to bring back is a means to spreading the stories of the Lost Boys that so desperately needs to be heard.