In less than twenty hours, I will be with thirteen members of the Davidson community in San Salvador, El Salvador, on a reverse mission trip. As the body of Christ of North America, ten Davidson students and three campus ministers are journeying together to encounter the body of Christ of Central America, so that we may be witnesses to the living faith present through the challenges of life in a developing country.
This week has brought a flurry of exciting conversations, late nights, rushed packing, and last-minute reading as the final week before break. I have seen many students this week exhibiting more stress than previous weeks, creating an “other world bubble” of Davidson academia. El Salvador feels so far away that it seems impossible that we are only separated by one day’s travel.
Thankfully, I have been continually reminded that the Journey ahead is nothing I can fully prepare for, but simply an opportunity to surrender to humble togetherness. While I am afraid of losing my luggage, or getting sick, or simply being exhausted, I know I will rely on my fellow team members and the many Salvadorans that we meet as we form community. I have been called to trust that the Journey is going to be challenging, but also inspiring, community building, and transforming. I trust the whispers I have heard in my prayers saying this journey will unfold in God’s hands.
The most grounding moment of my week in preparing for the Journey ahead was a prayer that I shared with two dear friends, my sisters, on campus. One of my friends shared with me that the root of the word “inspire” is “breath,” meaning God’s breath inspires all of our love. Through the Journey to El Salvador, I pray that we may experience the breath of God transforming our hearts as a unified body. Our Journey is not about the intellectual learnings of neo-capitalism or cultural anthropology, but a radical experience of dying into compassion and solidarity.
I give my deepest gratitude to all those who have supported us financially and prayerfully through this journey, and I look forward to sharing our experiences with you upon our return!