|Only half of the crew here ready to pick up the rest of the team in Boston.|
On our drive to Northborough to meet up with her team, she asked me if I was nervous about her trip to Scotland. "Not really," was my answer. It was 2 o'clock in the afternoon, and I was more excited for her opportunity to serve God and others than I was scared for her safety.
That casual sentiment only lasted until about 9:30pm when I realized she had been flying over the North Atlantic for about an hour. Then I panicked and began picturing all kinds of awful scenarios in my mind, the most hopeful of which involved inflatable slides and flotation devices near the coast of Iceland. She must be so cold and scared, I thought.
Thankfully, hardly any of my irrational fears ever actually happen, but you can imagine how relieved I was when I saw this photo on the Quest blog the next morning:
Double decker busses, coffees in hand, smiling faces, and a cute little redhead in the back. Whew. They made it safe and sound, and I'm so thankful.
Here's another photo of the Scotland team, and there are three other teams of teens and adults traveling to South Africa, Hawaii, and The Dominican Republic on mission trips that are part of a leadership and discipleship program (called Quest) for juniors in high school offered through the Baptist Convention of New England.
|Tommy is one of the adult leaders on Kayla's Scotland trip.|
Our church sent out two teens and one adult on Quest mission trips last Sunday. They each shared what they had learned through the program and a prayer request for their trip.
Each teen was required to meet with a mentor once a month, and our teens pretty much had the dream team of mentors. (Thanks so much, Sarah M. and Chris G.!) They worked through a two Bible studies: Chasing Last and Jesus on Leadership. Really wonderful learning and equipping tools.
|Sarah, Kayla. Finn, and Chris|
|Jessica (Hawaii), Maddie (The Dominican Republic), Kayla (Scotland), and Carol (Ecuador)|
And just like that, this little baby-doll-mama grew into a young woman who travels to far off places without her own mama.
And in the blink of an eye she also became a critical thinker, a fierce debater, a lover of Christ, and a defender of people. She became a loyal friend, a loving sister, and a witty one, too.
|Should the U.S. Government Significantly Alter its Entitlement Programs?|
|Tough Cross-Examination by fellow Questie (and another fierce debater!), Jessica.|
|Notice the game, Catch Phrase? Kayla always brings the fun. Always.|
|"Hey, Kory! Our Quest backpacks are exactly the same! It's like we're related or something."|
But don't worry, she does have a few glaring issues that we're still working on. Last week I counted 13 empty mugs and glasses in her bedroom. THIRTEEN. Many of them had dried up tea bags inside. She balked at my counting of her empty-mug sins, but I stood my ground and insisted upon repentance. After the mug issue improves, maybe we can work on the knee deep layer of clothing that typically covers every square inch of her room.😉
But I've heard that semi-chaotic, less than organized living conditions are signs of creativity, and let me tell you, Kayla's got many more signs than that. The girl is truly an artist. Here are just a couple of examples. (There are so many more, but these were easy to access!)
|She recently painted this. It's a beautiful (and very realistic right now!) rendition of our little house.|
|I was pretty stunned by this chalk unicorn that she and Mary just whipped out one summer day.|
And while I don't have any examples of her photography skills, I do have a picture of her with her 16th birthday gift. She has a great eye and is being given real opportunities to hone her skills. (Thanks, Shannon S.!)
And isn't that true of any service we engage in on behalf of others. It's always a remedy for selfishness, and she's catching on at an early age.
(But she does get paid for all of her kidsitting, and to this date she's saved nearly enough to purchase her first car. She'll have her license next month, and buying her own car has been a goal for quite some time. Diligent and determined, this girl. We've loved watching her meet her goal.)
|Reading to cousin Uriah.|
|Science experiment fun with Cohen.|
So, we weighed her suitcase and found the all-important airplane neck pillow on Tuesday morning. We made a couple of stops in town...CVS for an ID photo, Old Navy and Marshalls for a new Sunday dress, Whole Foods to grab lunch, and Starbucks to get a drink for our drive. We took a quick mudroom selfie with Dad, who could not make the drive with us, and were off to meet her team.
A couple of years ago, after she'd watched her brothers go on Quest mission trips to Africa and Asia, she told us she did NOT want to follow in their footsteps. She was NOT going to do Quest. She did NOT want to travel out of the country without her family.
Though we probably would have required it, she decided on her own to go through this year long process. She faced fears and persevered in spite of the many hesitations of her own heart and mind. In the end, she trusted God, and I could not be more proud of her or excited for all that He will do to change her life forever in the coming week.
She has been out of the country before. She traveled to the Dominican Republic with Robert a few years ago to work in a small, impoverished community. That her dad was there made all the difference in deciding to go. This was the scene in our living room upon her return...
P.S. Here's a link to the Quest blog. You can keep up with Kayla and the other Quest trips here if you like. Your prayers are very much appreciated, too. She does have to fly home over the Atlantic again, you know.