Location: Hoi An, Vietnam
Dates: June 26 -29, 2023
Event Venue: Hotel Royal Hoi An – MGallery
Sending Agencies: 45
Countries Served: 11
Getaway Details and Stories
The team is back from Vietnam, the GETAWAY came to an end and our missionary friends are back serving on the mission field. I have been meaning to give you all a recap of our GETAWAY for some time. Usually, after the GETAWAYS, I share the experiences of some of our team members who were serving and some of the missionaries being served (which I still plan to do!) but this time, I thought I might try to give you mine first.
To be honest, it’s been difficult to pare down all of my thoughts and feelings about this one.
In many ways, this was the most challenging trip to plan. We had to postpone for 3 years because of the pandemic, the cost for the team increased due to airfare prices (from when we originally planned to go in 2020), and changes in entry requirements causing issues not only for some of our team members but also for some of the missionaries trying to enter into Vietnam. We had last minute missionary cancelations and last minute additions, too. It was stressful, it was hard, it was worth it.
Most of my time at the GETAWAYS is spent behind the scenes making sure the hotel knows what is coming next, and getting all the details are worked out. At an event like this, the needs never stop. I don’t usually have the opportunity to spend a lot of time with our missionary friends and when I do, it’s usually because something has happened or there is some sort of problem. Sometimes people ask me if I feel like I am missing out by not getting to be directly involved with more missionaries. I always say I don’t mind and that’s true. My responsibility is to serve my team and make sure they have everything they need to serve our guests. It usually takes days, weeks even, for me personally to see the beauty of these GETAWAYS. I learn what the missionaries experience through the survey responses we get, I hear about their ministries by watching the video interviews or by phone calls with my teammates post GETAWAY.
This time though, it was different. The team couldn’t wait to tell me about their experiences and the stories they were hearing and the work these missionaries are doing. They would stop me on their lunch breaks or while walking down the hallway after prayer walks, interviews, nail and doctor appointments. They would say, “Have you heard about so and so’s ministry?”, “Have you met this person?”. With tears in their eyes, “Have you heard about what’s happening along this border?”. Joyous experiences, conversations too heartbreaking to share and many deeply spiritual moments.
We prayed, loved, hugged and served these missionaries to the best of our abilities. I can only hope that they left feeling restored and reinvigorated-that when they got in their cars or boarded their flights for Vietnam, China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Kenya, Taiwan, Philippines, and Myanmar, they left knowing that they are not alone. Wow! What a GETAWAY we had in Spain.
There were so many challenges leading up to this trip that it was hard not to be discouraged.