Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
We have a group of 23 from our church that joined another group of eight in Miami to travel to Guatemala. Because everyone can take 122 pounds of luggage two2 50 pound checked bags and 1 22 pound carry on), we had a lot of luggage to pack. So, on Thursday night, we had a packing party. Most of our 23 travelers showed up with personal items packed and empty suitcases ready to load them with supplies collected by our church’s children’s ministry. The young women, ages 8-12 that are travelling with us are enthusiastic about helping those in need and put empty suitcases around the church for several weeks asking people to donate items that the children need. Their goal was 40 suitcases and they exceeded that goal. So, on Thursday, our task was to pack all those items as efficiently as possible. It was organized chaos! Shelly, who is a registered nurse, manned the scales weighing bags and then, I marked the ones that were 50 pounds. If they weren’t heavy enough, or too heavy, they were sent back to tables where another team stuffed wipes, clothes, aprons, school supplies and anything else that they could fit into the back to reach the desired weight. Once the right weight and tagged with the pounds and whether they were personal items, supplies or a mix, a group of men, loaded them into a borrowed trailer attached to the church bus. They kept track of the number as they loaded. When they were all done, the trailer was full and we were ready to go this morning at 5:00 AM. Everyone got to the church on time, so we had a prayer circle and loaded up. Because our team ranges in age from 8-78, there were a lot of husbands, and daddies who were sad to see their wives and daughters leaving. Though they know the work we will do is worthy, they were still feeling the loss. Our pastor put it well when he noted he had a double investment in this trip as his wife and daughter were going. We have seven sets of moms and daughters, two sets of husband and wife and me and youngest son who was a bit bewildered to find out I had signed him up for a “mother-daughter” trip. We are now through security and waiting for our plane to arrive. I always get anxious about security, but having three international trips under my belt in a little more than a year, I know how to pack and what to leave behind or in my carryon! Youngest son was a great help in getting the luggage to check in as all the bags were too heavy for the little girls to carry! I wonder if you are carrying a large load with you these days. Do you have someone to come along beside you and carry it? Like youngest son, Jesus has already offered to carry your bags. Will you set them down?