Recently several people have said to me, “How do you pack for a six-week trip?” They are referring, of course, to our LST mission trip to Natal, Brazil—June 12-July 31.
The short answer is, “The same way you pack for a week trip,” for that is true. We will do laundry every week, at least. Our clothes will probably be hung to dry, so we won’t take any clothes that need to be drycleaned or that will take long to dry, such as some knits. Denim presents a small problem, for it usually takes a long time to air dry. But on the other hand, we can wear denim items quite a few times without having to launder them!
The real packing problems come with party supplies. Steve and I are planning a party with a Cincinnati Reds theme, so we need lots of decorations. We’ve found a clever Disney cartoon on “How to Play Baseball,” featuring Goofy, and we can get that from YouTube, so at least that’s not something to pack. If you have old baseball decorations left from a child’s birthday party (or an adult’s birthday party), I’ll be glad to take them off your hands.
We are taking a wiffle ball and bat, in case there’s room to demonstrate and even play a game. We need prizes for our games and special food to go with the theme. So even though we can pop corn there, we’ll be taking about 75 bags of Cracker Jacks for our party and a few bags of peanuts in the shell. After all, how can we teach about American culture via baseball without “peanuts and Cracker Jacks” to go with the song?
Considering the true purpose of our trip, we also take lesson books, which add to weight and take up space, but they are vital to our work with our readers. This year we will not all be starting with Lesson One since there is a team preceding us and we will pick up where they left off with some of their readers. That will be a welcome diversion from all of us starting on the same lesson. Sometimes when we are all in various parts of the same room, we can hear others echoing what we’ve just said or previewing what we’re about to say, and that’s a bit disconcerting.
A part of Steve’s packing is books to read, but I’ve eliminated some of my weight and space that way with my Nook. I’ve loaded dozens of books on my Nook and will have a good selection from which to choose. Of course I need to remember to keep it charged!
Another part of our plan-ahead packing is for our daily devotionals. We will take turns leading the devos each morning before we start our sessions. We will need to have songs and spiritual thoughts that will challenge the adults while still engaging the children—ages 2, 5, and 11. Well, maybe the two-year-old won’t listen much, but he’ll still get to answer some of the Bible facts he’s learning. We’ll surely throw in a “Who built the ark?” just to hear his sweet “Noah!” and other such questions and answers. One of our songs will be something he can sing, too. The message of “Jesus Loves Me” resonates with both children and adults.
At least we don’t have to pack our prayers—prayers for readers with open hearts to know Jesus Christ and for us to have the right words they need to hear. We always carry them in our minds and in our hearts and hope yours are there for us also.
What’s the longest time you’ve lived out of a suitcase?