I just got off of Skype with my amazing and lovely wife who is in China right now on a mission trip, hosting special needs orphans at a camp (read about it here on her blog). She and our children's minister from church have been hard at it since Monday, directly on the heels of a 27-hour plane-to-plane journey on Saturday and Sunday.
They've dealt with lice, unspeakable fear from a 12-year old who had never left the grounds of the orphanage, questionable decisions by folks on the ground, crazy food, and any number of other things I could tell you about. And she's exhausted.
She's not complaining. Trips like this aren't supposed to be vacations with surf, sand, umbrella drinks, and a nice tan. Granted, I've bumped into more than one person who, after a mission trip, tells me the highlights - none of which actually include God stuff. They'll tell me about where they stayed, who was their roommate, how hard traveling was, and what non-ministry-related stuff they got to do.
If you don't come home physically and emotionally exhausted yet spiritually full (even if it's the kind of fullness that's brokenhearted over what you've seen, heard, felt, and sensed), you may have had a great trip but you might not have had a mission trip.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...