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Zeke’s First Mission Trip

In 2006 I met a couple in Asia. They were our ministry contacts for our month near the foothills of Tibet. Already being a person in love with this country I was ecstatic to get to know people who lived there. Lucky for us, we had a 36-hour train ride from stepping off the plane to stepping in their hometown…. and another 36-hour ride back at the end of the month. During that month I saw the definition of a family living out Wild At Heart. Motorcycle rides through snow covered mountains to take literature, under the cover of night, to Tibetan monasteries. Entering new villages with nothing but a backpack and a prayer that God would open up a door for ministry…. and watching Him do just that over and over again. And all of this…. with a newborn. I was amazed at how much this couple did, how much they traveled, how much they ministered, all with a newborn.

On the way home I asked the wife of this family, “How do you do this? I mean… you have a baby.” At which she looked at me like this 36-hour train ride was the simplest part of her day and said “Babies are mobile. If you decide this is what their normal looks like, then this will be their normal.” Right there I decided that’s the kind of mom I want to be. A mom who’s children grow up as a part of a movement… in motion… on mission. That’s their normal.

And now here he is… Mr. Ezekiel himself…. Child #1. Here we go.

This summer will be Zeke’s first mission trip. We are taking our church, Lanier Hills, on a 1 week trip to the Dominican Republic. We’re serving alongside Miguel and Kristina de Santiago (aka who Corey lived with in the DR… aka Corey’s best man in our wedding… aka favoritest missionaries ever!) to serve the church of Mogollon as they become church planters to the surrounding villages. There will be evangelism, children’s ministry, and more than anything one-on-one relationships where God can show up, speak, and encourage this church as they reach their neighbors.

And yes… Zeke is going.

I would lie if I say I wasn’t nervous. There’s a lot of planning and preparing… and I’ve never done ministry, much less led a team, with a baby on my hip. Luckily the Shauls have two precious little girls they have raised while doing these exact things. So I bet they’ll have some tips.

To get there though… we need your help. So many of you have been a part of our support in the past. So we want to ask you to invest that same support in Zeke as his normal begins to include mission trips. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Pray. For plans to come together. For the team to mesh. For health. For miracles, signs, and wonders. For the Dominican Republic to be forever impacted from this one week.
  2. Give. We need $2800 to go on this trip. Checks can be made payable to Lanier Hills Church and mailed to Zeke’s First Mission Trip, 3625 Garden Blvd, Gainesville, GA 30506. 
  3. Help out. Have you taken a baby overseas before? I’d love your tips. Fill up the comments section with any advice you have!!!


We’re so thankful for all of you who help us live our life with a purpose. And we’re even more thankful for your help to raise a son who lives on purpose. We can’t wait to update you on all that God does this summer!

**Note: For those of you who previously supported us with AIM, this money for this trip will not go through AIM, so you cannot use the same donor account you previously had.


  1. We took both our kids to the DR for 3 weeks last June. (not a mission trip, a vacation/visit family) My son was 2 1/2 yrs and my daughter was 11 months (was mostly worried about her) Used only bottled water, only had a few foods off the street carts haha, used tons of sun block, hats, baby bojourn, spoke to the kids pediatrician and he hooked me up with every type of med for the “just in case”. If you want that list I can give it to you. You know what to do, Sweetie, the same things you do for yourself not to get sick, just extra safe with your son :-). Also, breast feed on the plane on the take off and landing for the ears (or a pacifier works too) Zeke will do great with his Mommy, Daddy and God with him.

  2. Yay! It’s going to be a wonderful mission trip for Zeke, his parents, and the rest of the team 😉

  3. Laura, what a joy! I’m so glad you all get to serve as a family alongside precious friends. It will be a wonderfully, natural experience for you, I believe! Prayers for you as a mom and a beautiful servant of Christ. Love you, sweet girl! always, in HIM, Jen

  4. I’ll be praying for all of you. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

    P.S. I’d love to hear about how you prepared and all the tips you get. You should write a blog about it when your finished. 🙂

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