I love the excitement that comes with making new plans. As I pack my bag, buy travel-size toiletries, and stash some cash for last-minute snacks, I start to envision the adventure that lies ahead. I can feel the butterflies in my stomach as I picture the plane lifting smoothly from the ground. Suddenly, I hear folks around me saying “canceled”, and I’m jostled back to the present moment. We’re being rerouted. It wasn’t the first time that Covid forced our hand this past year, and it wasn’t even completely unexpected. But it was still a letdown.
Each year we plan to take our interns on an international exposure trip. This year our plan was to trek through Southeast Asia; instead, we found ourselves in the concrete jungle of Dallas, Texas. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed when we had to change plans, but I’ve realized that God uses these opportunities to remind us that our plans are not our own.
Our time in Dallas was incredible. We met refugees from the Middle East and spent an entire week with amazing people from places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Bangladesh. We enjoyed meals together, joined them for tea, and swapped stories of ‘home.’ We also had an opportunity to connect the refugees with local believers for ESL and citizenship classes and other various resources in the Dallas area. Our prayer is that these connections have paved the way for future gospel conversations.
Looking back, I now see how God had a grander vision than my original plan, and this was our once-in-a-lifetime trip.