Xavier went to Kenya with a group of teens and adults in 2011. This was an 11 day trip that positively impacted his life. Besides leading testimony ceremonies, and getting to know joyful, faithful believers, the group saw a lot of the Kenyan countryside and went on safari. He got close to the other teens in his group; they are among his closest friends to this day. The next summer, he had a short missions trip to Kansas City Missouri to help their large Eastern European refuge community. He drew more close friends from this opportunity.
He planned to travel to Thailand this January for his first long-term mission. He would be there for six months. He was preparing to go when we found out that he would be alone for long stretches of time every day. This is quite a contrast from his previous missions experiences. The young man he would relieve is experienced in long-term missions. But the ministry had some challenges finding enough people to serve. It got complicated for awhile, and we all tried to find an option that would work, but it didn’t work out. He ended up having to cancel the trip entirely.