“I don’t know if I’m going to post these photos online or not.”
I hear this statement all of the time! This thought spreads quicker than pollen in the spring. As missionaries who work at a school, we have the benefit of enjoying 2 weeks of spring vacation. It’s lovely. We have the privilege of teaching at a European school. For spring break, this means that we have countless travel options.
Many people in this community give their first week of spring break to lead a missions trip with BFA students. Some travel to see family. Others hibernate or travel to another country- for leisure. I, myself, will be working AND spending a few days enjoying the break in another country.
Will I hide my fabulous spring break vacation photos from the public? Nope. I think most of my friends understand that I’m not just hanging out in Europe and blowing other people’s money on travel. You are all pretty understanding. However, you wouldn’t be the first or the last person to question what I was up to. I get it. I would probably wonder. These situations probably don’t make a lot of sense until you are in them.
In order to give everybody some perspective and (let’s be honest) make myself feel better about my decisions, I am going to provide some helpful details. On April 15th, I will be leaving the Basel, Switzerland airport on an EasyJet flight bound for Split, Croatia. Upon arrival, I will be checking into an apartment that is available for temporary rental via airbnb.com. I plan to spend 4 days doing little more than catching up on sleep on the beach. My favorite beach food: PB&J that’s been sitting in a cooler for an hour or so. Crossing my fingers for some peanut butter!
This month, I have been looking at the cost for flying from Florida to Tennessee, for a missions conference with The Evangelical Alliance Mission. It is a conference that will help equip me for the long-term mission field and provide an opportunity to make connections with other missionaries. I cannot find a ticket for less than $400. My entire trip to Croatia will cost less than that flight. I could, in fact, fly to London and back TWICE for less than that. Yet, one might judge that my money would be spent better in this way.
Maybe YOU are the “one.” If so, I’m not angry with you and I’m not trying to be defensive. OK, I guess that I’m being defensive. What I am really trying to say is that I understand where your judgement comes from. Let me ask you a question though. How much money do you spend on gas in a month? How much money do you spend on tolls? It is absolutely necessary for you to do so. I am not judging you for your gas consumption. I am, however, pointing out that I have very purposefully lived without the luxury of a car for 3 years now. I do not have the money for a car, for gas, or for insurance. Instead, I have walked everywhere, taken public transportation, and stayed close to home for the most part. This is the choice I have made.
Therefore, to me, it makes perfect sense to spend a little bit of money getting the rest that I need, out of town. I might take out my claustrophobic stress on my students if I don’t! This is for THEIR safety. Ok, ok. All jokes aside, I really will need a break. I am about to spend my first week of break in an empty school, finishing our yearbook. The pressure is mounting. So, I am really excited about the opportunity I will have to leave everything behind for a few days. I think that anybody can understand that.
Unfortunately, I received the dreaded spring email from TEAM. My support is indeed low. This trip was paid for in installments months ago though. There isn’t anything I can do about it now. Please don’t be confused when I ask you to pray for my financial situation in the same week that I post vacation pictures. I don’t plan to beg anybody for money. I strongly believe that God is going to provide exactly what I need to finish out my time at BFA properly. I count this vacation as part of His provision. Please join me in petitioning the Lord to provide for my needs and praising Him for the needed vacation that I will get to enjoy. Vielen Dank!