One of my first memories of missions was in March of 1978. I was only three years old, but my dad went with a short-term mission team from our church on a trip to Guatemala following a massive earthquake there. My dad was part of the second team from our church that went to help Guatemalans rebuild after that tragedy. The first team worked alongside our SBC Foreign Mission Board (now the IMB) missionaries to rebuild Damascus Baptist Church in Guatemala City. The second team (that my father was on) went to the village of Santo Domingo Xenaco outside Guatemala City to help rebuild homes for those who lost family members and homes in the earthquake. Following a hard day of construction, the team would gather for evening services, where they would worship and share the gospel with locals.
Obviously, being three years of age, I do not remember much about my dad being gone, nor do I remember much about the trip. What I do distinctly remember is what happened to him upon his return home and how it impacted our family and my life. Not long after his return my dad became very sick. We soon discovered that he had contracted an infectious form of Hepatitis A from the drinking water in Guatemala. Even as a young child I remember being extremely concerned over his health. It was scary to have your father home from a long trip and for him not to be able to get out of bed or for you to be able to spend time around him. As I reflect back on this years later, I am struck by the fact that I never heard my father complain about getting sick, nor have I ever heard him talk poorly about his mission trip experience. Perhaps the most amazing thing is that it never slowed him down from taking more trips. He is now 71 and is still actively engaged in international mission trips every year. [Read more…] about Contagious Missions