When Senders Become Goers

Our First Mission Trek (2017)

Tomorrow morning, we leave to go on our very first mission trip to the Buena Vista Sports Academy for Boys in Buena Vista, Guatemala.

As we were spending time with the boys this morning, in preparation to leave them in the sweet care of my parents for all of next week, our oldest son pulled out a basket from his room.

“What is this?, Landon asked.


It was a hand-woven bracelet with the word Guatemala on it. I couldn’t remember how this had entered Landon’s keep box immediately, but then I recalled it from sending a donation for a family friend, Hannah to go to Guatemala with her church.

“We helped send a girl to Guatemala on a mission trip this past summer”, I replied, “and she brought us back this bracelet in return”.

Landon thought about my reply. He looked up at me and responded, “And now you and daddy are the ones going”.

And I made the connection that I either ignored or dismissed for the past several months…we were actually now the Goers!

As a very type-A, organized, non-group traveler I reminded Logan frequently over the past almost nine years that we were senders and not goers. We had a few different chances to send acquaintances from our church, family friends or Logan’s work associates on mission trips, but I was very clear that we would never go on one ourselves.

It is just as good to send, I would think and say. You know, the world really needs senders – otherwise, how would anyone ever go on a mission trip?

But in the last few months, something changed. Yes, I still wanted us to be senders and to glorify the works that so many amazing people were doing in God’s name. But I also had a yearning desire inside of me to experience being a goer, too. Couldn’t we be both?

It’s very easy to ignore God’s prompting and to stay. Staying is comfortable. It isn’t super challenging and keeps you right inside of that sweet comfort zone spot. Especially during the Christmas season. But after two years of hearing stories of friends from Trinity Fitness living in and now going on mission trips several times per year to Guatemala, we wanted to experience how God was moving there, too.

Speaking of going, a family from Nocatee picked up their belongings and moved their young sons to live in this academy in Guatemala on a one-way ticket just a month or so ago. They will be planting a new soccer academy in Honduras, to touch the lives of boys there, too.

That is next level.

After running out of excuses from: our kids are too young, it’s too expensive to go (as I frequently booked expensive luxurious travel for our family), and it wouldn’t be safe for us, we decided to go. We’re goers. And senders.

And I’m learning, it’s okay to be both.

Landon will be wearing his Guatemala bracelet from Hannah’s mission trip to Guatemala to think of us while we go to Guatemala ourselves. I am so very glad that Landon kept that bracelet in his keep box and that it was perfectly placed this morning right where it needed to be.


Follow our family travel blog Trekking Twice for our update when we return next week!

xo, The James Family


  1. jsiegle104 says:

    Meg, This brought tears to my eyes!Mom

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone


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