All of her adult life, my sister, Dawn Mitchell, has loved Rome. A Latin teacher, she has studied there multiple times and led groups of students there more times than she remembers. I’ve never gone with her. I’ve wanted to, but she goes during spring break; spring break coincides with Holy Week. Even before I was a pastor, I’ve always had church responsibilities that made a Holy Week trip difficult.
This year, the trip is also on spring break, Holy Week, but I decided to go with her anyway. The pandemic, among other things, has made me realize that the future is—has never been—guaranteed. So, I made plans for my beloved flock at Ecclesia Baptist, signed on as a chaperone, and now we are off!
I hope to blog regularly while we are gone. We will land in Rome on March 31 and travel by motor coach to Naples where we will spend one night and will visit the ruins of the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. We will return to Rome on April 1 where we will stay in the same hotel for the remainder of the trip, though we will be traveling to Florence for one day. I’m hoping to give at least quick updates daily.
We will eventually be a group of 27. Of those, 18 are high school students, juniors and seniors. My sister’s daughter, Emma, is chaperoning and helping lead the trip. My brother-in-law, Mike, is also a chaperone, as is Heather Longley, mother of two of the students on the trip. When nephew Mitch learned his entire family would be on the trip, he signed on as a participant. Meanwhile, my cousin Susan Conger, decided to come on the trip and bring a friend, Patty Martin. Susan and her sister Brenda joined Dawn and her students a few years back, and Susan was excited to go again. Add Dawn, our tour guide, and me, and that’s our 27!