Our Third Mission Trip Together

We’ve shared previously about our first mission trip together (when I broke my leg in Kodiak, Alaska) and our second mission trip together (when we road-tripped to Moose Creek, Alaska with a baby and our Bible study group). Our third mission trip took us much further away!

In the summer of 2017, right around when Clara was born, we began planning a mission trip to Ghana, Africa with our church. Our church was (and still is) supporting a missionary family serving there with ABWE. And we wanted to go and join in the work for a few weeks!

Our team rallied and consisted of (from left, below): Jesse and Shannon; Calvin; Clara, Allen, me, and Ruth; Betty and Fred; Ms. Linda and Pastor Tom; and Emily.

As a team, we fundraised, got passports, purchased tickets, packed bags, and soon, it was time for take-off.

We landed in Ghana (after many flights and long layovers, losing our umbrella stroller after a misunderstanding, and lots of airplane food) in late December 2017.

And for the next two weeks, our team did construction projects (which included transporting long pieces of wood on a moto, fixing doors, and painting)…

Worshipped at a local church with Ghanaian believers…

Chased Ruth across the fields (daily and hourly, it seemed)…

Experienced Harmattan

Did lots of laundry…

Worked on cars…

Hiked to a waterfall…

Organized the library at the Bible School campus…

Handed out handmade dolls and Matchbox cars at the Volta Home Orphanage…

Helped with a pastor’s wives retreat that culminated in us washing their feet and allowed us to see God do some incredible things in the women’s lives…

Saw Ruth dancing and making friends with a little girl in the market…

And generally just LOVED spending time with our sweet friends!

It was in Ghana that Allen and I finalized our Imaginings for 2018. Top of our list? To pursue international adoption. Literally the next day, one of our friends came up and said, “ABWE is looking to open an orphanage in Togo and they need Directors… what do you think?” Well, obviously we thought that was abundantly more than all we could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20), so it was while were in Ghana that we began praying about that opportunity. A few days later, we were able to visit Togo with other missionary friends and see what the country was like, at least in part. God began opening doors and we began to walk through them, never forcing anything open, but faithfully just doing the next God-ward thing.

Not only was this our third mission trip together, but it kicked off a lifetime of missions for our family. We are so thankful for the time and opportunity to serve with our girls. Was it challenging? Yes. I feel like I spent more time caring for them than I putting my hands to the tasks the rest of the team was doing. But did we see God working anyway? Yes, for sure.

This past week, I was going through a few things in my hope chest and found a Bible study Allen and I lead in 2016. At the back of the study, there was a writing prompt to list 10 life goals. Apparently I only thought of four because they were written on this index card that I had tucked back there:

Do you see what’s written first? “Serve the Lord as a missionary in Africa – teaching? Orphanage?” And do you see what’s last? “Travel internationally with kids.”

How amazing is it that God, four years ago, began to plant the specific desire to work with orphans in Africa (about eight years after my initial mission trip to South Africa while in college)? How amazing that He is already working to fulfill dreams He gave me years ago?!

So that’s it. Our third mission trip together, our first one with two kids, and our first one overseas as a family. God. Is. Good.

3 thoughts on “Our Third Mission Trip Together

  1. I love reading about what God is so faithfully doing in the lives of others around the world! Reading about and seeing the index card gave me goosebumps! The Lord is so good! Thank you for sharing!


  2. Pingback: Friday Favorites – Batts Abroad

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