Today’s blog is from an extraordinary woman, Carla Hanes. This year, she and her husband and their three young boys are embarking on a life changing trip to Bali, Indonesia. It would be easy for this Alabama family to find a much easier trip to go on, especially with their youngest son being 4 years old, but Carla knows that this is an invaluable experience. Here, she shares with us why it’s important for her family to do this, and what she’s experienced through the process thus far.
The Hanes household is officially on count down: Taylor, Carla, Jack, Luke and Tay have 28 days to raise $10,000 so that we can join the 15th annual Surfing the Nations trip to Bali! The Bali adventure is a dream that’s been a long time coming. My husband, Taylor and I, have talked, planned and dreamed of taking our boys on an outreach trip for years. Jack and Luke are 9 year old twins and Tay is 4.
It’s true that taking children under a certain age into foreign countries can seem a bit daunting. When the voices of those challenges seem a little louder than the excitement and reward of the adventure, I’m reminded that anything of significant and lasting value requires a leap, a risk, an embracing of the unknown. The other night as we were tucking our boys into bed, Luke said, “Mom, I’m excited because I know that we are going to get to help people and change their lives, but most of all, our lives are going to be changed.”
There are also the life lessons that have come from having to write support letters and hold car washes to raise the needed money. Learning the value of earning money to spend it not on oneself but on others takes the idea of selflessness to a new level – especially in the mind of a 9 year old. It has been especially rewarding to watch Jack and Luke’s friends come alongside and support them with their time, energy and allowance. These are the life experiences that shape a boys’ character – these are the lessons that remind us all to take the focus off ourselves and put it on others – when we do that, we are all nourished and we all grow.
We look forward to sharing stories of our adventures in Bali – not just this summer but for many to come! -CH
If you would like to help the Hanes family reach their goal and be a part of sending them to Bali, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and put in the subject line ‘Hanes Family.’