Posts in 117 Trip Chronicles
The God Who Sees Me [117 Trip Chronicles]

Coffee and I have been friends for a long time. I love the smell, I love the taste, and I love the warmth that a cozy mug brings my soul. Yet, I never anticipated that coffee would play a role in a significant moment during my recent trip to visit Carry 117. After hearing about Carry 117 for several years, God prompted me to take a leap and experience it firsthand in Korah, Ethiopia. I needed to SEE it for myself.

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Strengthening Families... In Korah and At Home [117 Trip Chronicles]

The moment my feet hit Ethiopian soil for the first time, I knew two things.  That I would be back.  And that I would bring Nicole, my wife, with me. I’m sure it was the smell of the air, the people I was meeting, the power of the work we were doing; a combination of all of it.  I knew, with each passing day, this was something my wife would need to experience.  That knowledge only grew on my second trip.

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The Problem With a "Fix It" Mentality [117 Trip Chronicles]

I can remember the very first mission trip I went on in middle school. My 8th grade class visited a small church in the western United States to fix up and clean houses of some of the members of the local church there. That was the first time I can remember connecting skills that I actually had, with needs that had to be met. That connection was electrifying, meaningful, and life-giving.

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Serving from Discomfort [117 Trip Chronicles]

Go on a mission trip. It will change your life.” This is somewhat of a mantra in my church.

Serve in one of our ministries and you’ll experience amazing life change and become godly in ways you’ve never dreamed.

Go on a mission trip and you’ll return a fresh new person with eyes to see the world like Jesus does.

For me, this has always seemed like a cheap ploy to get people to serve, resting on our human selfishness to motivate us into action. I love serving and using the gifts that I know God has given me to give to the Kingdom. I have served in middle school ministry, high school ministry, adult ministry, and through short term missions – ask me to serve, and I’m there.

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The Irish Man [117 Trip Chronicles]

You know you’re seeing real beauty when everything in you stops for a moment. A groom lays eyes on his bride for the first time on their wedding day, her brunette hair sets off her deep blue eyes and flawless skin.  For a few brief moments, the setting sun, shadows, and clouds line up perfectly and the sky bursts into saturated fire.  Your child, without prompting, tells you they love you.  Insert your own beautiful moment here.

Moments like these take our breath away.   Our search for air and words comes up short.  The silence of our usually cluttered minds is serene, and we are left for once to simply drink it in.

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The Power of Pictures [117 Trip Chronicles]

Taking pictures has always been something I’ve loved. It wasn’t until around middle school that my passion for photography was ignited, and the dream of starting my own photography business really began. By my freshman year of high school, I booked my very first senior portrait session. I’m now about to graduate from high school in a couple of months, and I’m shooting about 30 senior portrait sessions, many family portrait sessions, and a handful of weddings each year. Needless to say, I love taking pictures. But my passion for pictures runs so much deeper.

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From Checklist to Changed: [117 Trip Chronicles]

As someone who loves and has been on many mission trips, one of my lifelong goals has been to serve God on every continent (except for Antarctica I guess…since they don’t have a ton of people there). Sounds like an awesome life goal, right? I planned for this trip to be checking off another box, the Africa box, toward that goal. However, while I was in Ethiopia on the 117 Trip, my mind and heart were shifted completely by the things I noticed and experienced.

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