Friday, January 19, 2018

Extended Stay Missions

The Sowers are no strangers to one-week mission teams. They often host these teams throughout the year. In August 2016, one of those visiting team members was Dillon Cohee, a young man from Maryland, who participated in a bridge-in-a-week project. Now, Dillon has returned for what might be classified as an “extended stay” mission trip, as an intern with Sowers4Pastors.

Dillon (back left) during his bridge-in-a-week visit in 2016

Dillon also visited Honduras on a short mission trip to dig a well with Living Water, in 2015. That sparked interest for his trip with Sowers4Pastors. He said he's noticed a big difference between the two trips. He continued, “The Sowers’ trip was more real. They are so genuine. The Living Water trip was good, but there wasn’t that personal relationship where you were in direct contact with people involved in the ministry.”

When we spoke, Dillon was in his second week of what will be a three month stay with the Sowers family. Allen, Trish, and Russell thought it would be fun to have Dillon compare this trip with his previous trip. After all, this time he’s seeing what their ministry looks like from day-to-day, rather than when everything is laid out for a team.

Dillon described his duties as doing whatever is needed--from helping with teams, to working on the coffee farm, to sorting the contents of the infamous shipping containers. He said, “There’s a lot going on behind the scenes. I didn’t really understand about the shipments in the containers--how much stuff there is to sort through. I didn’t realize how many backpacks there are to organize. It’s something you don’t think about when you’re filling backpacks in the U.S. Here, you get boxes containing more than 5000 backpacks to organize before they can be distributed.”

Dillon (far right) works on a construction project  with Allen and Helder

How did Dillon manage to take an extended internship? The first thing in his favor is his age. Dillon is 23 years old. Since he doesn’t yet have a family to support, his schedule is more flexible. Also in his favor, is the fact he works for his cousin’s plumbing business. His cousin is very agreeable to Dillon taking time off for extended trips.

Why did Dillon decide to do this? He wanted something more than “working 40 hours per week, making money, and settling down.” He said, “The happiest I’ve been is when I’m far away from home and serving someone other than myself. I want to be serving a greater purpose rather than living the American dream.”

What does Dillon want others to know? “If anyone else is thinking about taking a mission trip. Pray about it, and if you get the go ahead, do it!”

What differences has Dillon noticed during this trip? Not as many as you might expect! He said, “When I was here building a bridge, it was go, go, go. They (the Sowers family) are workers! I knew that’s how it would be. I like that. You’re here. You might as well work hard.” The Sowers family agrees, wholeheartedly!

 - posted by Christi

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