Each group gets to leave a piece of artwork on the wall summarizing their experience. So we quickly cleaned, packed up, and signed the wall.
The ride to the airport was long, but I sat in silence trying to take it in one more time. I'd offer single sentence prayers on and off asking God to engage this city of over 20 million people in a way He never has before. I also prayed for my own heart, that it would soften and be filled with courage to act and not stand by watching and waiting for others to make a move.
We arrived at the airport and checked in with no issues. It was time to go. The group surrounded and prayed for our family. They were flying out an hour after us. After the word "Amen", the next few moments were filled with hugs, high fives, and tears.
As we walked away to go through security, I kept asking myself, "How did this happen? Was it all just a dream?" Somehow God didn't just combine my family with a group of people, but instead teamed us up with the RIGHT people. Our boys were watched over, loved, and taught by 31 big brothers and sisters...and it was a joy to serve together.
The flight to Atlanta was easy...finally. Our bags actually chose to follow us this time. What a gift! We had a little extra time and sat quietly soaking in tiredness.
The flight to Jacksonville was equally uneventful. We made it home and were happy to feel the hot Florida sunshine.