I just returned from a great trip to East Asia. While the trip was unrelated to the work with Underground Coffee International, the group was able to able to spend some time meeting with farmers that I have planted coffee test-plots with when I lived there. Our group had an eight-hour layover on our trip out and I scheduled Luv-Luv’s flights so that our layovers would overlap. While a long layover after about twenty-five hours of traveling is a beating, it was worth it because we were able to spend a few hours catching up with Luv-Luv, and he was able to cast some vision for the work that the group was about to go and do. Luv-Luv’s visa is about to expire and we’re going to send him back home for a few weeks so that we can get him switched over to a new visa. This will also give him some time to spend with his grandparents and recharge. I love going back to the town where I lived in East Asia. It is up in the mountains and has developed so quickly that most of the people living there were rural farmers just ten or fifteen years ago. A quick ten or fifteen minute drive can take you from the middle of the city to a village surrounded by cornfields.
The highlight, though, was the group that I took with me. There were seven of us: three adult leaders and four guys that have just graduated high school. I love being on trips with groups and seeing their worldview widen just a little bit. Yes, short-term mission trips have their problems, are expensive and sometimes can do more damage than good, but short-term mission trips are also the quickest way for people to catch a passion for the lost who have never heard the gospel.
It has been great being back for a few days and hearing the boys tell others about the trip.