56 churches. 26 states and the District of Columbia. 81 days. These are a few of my statistics for this summer with FCBA. The one thing I can’t count, though, is the number of times the people on this trip have brought me joy and made me feel loved.
Not only have I been away from my family for the longest time so far in my life (seven weeks) but two weeks into the East Coast trip I got news that my grandpa passed away. Though it wasn’t entirely unexpected, it wasn’t easy to hear, especially knowing that I was over 2,000 miles from home. But, if I had to be away from home, there is no other group of people I would rather be with than my Fuller Center family. Nicole hugged and cuddled with me, Lindsey and Bri took me on a late night drive and many others showed me compassion and care. Fortunately, my grandpa’s memorial was planned for after my return home but many assured me that family comes first and if I needed to leave my role as a support and media intern, it would be no problem.
When I first came to the trip in June, I didn’t know what to expect of the whole social dynamic. There aren’t many other places you eat, sleep, shower, explore and live with so many other people, especially of such a wide range of ages. I lived in dorms during my first three years of college but that in no way can compare. I also wasn’t sure of how my role as a support person rather than a rider would affect things–I don’t know if I ever put words to it beforehand, but I was concerned about being left out.
All of those questions or concerns have obviously been put to rest. Though you can see the bad side of people when you spend so much time with them, I still love all of those who have joined the trip. I’ve loved having others my age who understand what I’m going through, and I love the adults who have gone out and lived life and have so much wisdom that I hope to have learned from.
In the end, I’m so glad to have spent the summer with FCBA, learning what derailleurs are, setting up rest stops, searching for electrical outlets in churches, exploring cities during off days, battling bug bites, desperately trying to stay hydrated, packing my bag every day and having the adventure of a lifetime. Most of all, it is so important that what we are did each day was not fruitless, but supports the mission of the Fuller Center–to help provide simple, decent housing for people around the world.