Last March, I was fortunate to have the experience of going on a week-long mission trip with 33 of the students with whom I work, and a co-worker. We spent their Spring Break together doing home repairs in Appalachia, one of the poorest areas of the country. The poverty there is not due to a natural disaster, it's present all the time. It's a place that seems to be forgotten by the rest of the United States, yet one that's filled with love.
When we returned from the trip, I marked my calendar for today to send all of the students the letters that they wrote while on the trip. They've been in my desk drawer for the last four months, waiting to be sent at a time when the students will be both physically and mentally preparing to come back to school. Our goal was that they'd get there letters and return to campus with a renewed energy about our trip, ready to encourage others to share in the experience this year. It felt really good putting the envelopes in the mail.
I then opened my own letter, written on bright orange paper. It was interesting to read and reflect on the experience and where my mind was at while serving there. One of the main things that I wrote about was wanting to live my life more simply - focusing on the things that really matter. I am glad to say that it wasn't just a thought that came up while serving and then was left behind in Appalachia. Ive really made an effort to focus on simplifying my life. Some of this has been due to my goal to eliminate my debts, but it has also been with an attempt to focus on my relationships and my family. I am inspired to keep working towards this.
I can't wait to head back to ASP again this spring!