Thinking about travel

My big summer trip was great, but it has me thinking about when and where I might go next

John I. Carney
7 min readJul 30, 2022

This was from one of our flights home from Uganda.

On Sunday, July 10, I returned from a two-week mission trip to Uganda with Raise The Roof Academy. I’m more and more of the opinion that this was the best of my 10 foreign mission trips.

As I explained in the post linked to above, some of my teammates from this trip travel to RTRA year after year (at least, when we’re not in the middle of a global pandemic). In the early 2000s, I took a series of annual mission trips, but after a few years I began to feel some donor fatigue from the friends and family members who had faithfully supported me year after year. I decided it would be better if I took a trip every few years instead of every year.

Over the past decade, of course, the schedule has been even more spread out than that. The last of my nine trips with LEAMIS International Ministries, to Sierra Leone in 2016, was in the planning stages for several years, starting in about 2014, but had to be postponed a couple of times, first due to our host pastor’s scheduling issues and then due to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

And it was in the fall of 2019 that I first signed up for RTRA’s summer 2020 trip — which didn’t take place, due to COVID. It didn’t take place in 2021, either.

So I’ve actually taken only two mission trips since the fall of 2010. The only other airline trip I took during that time was a one-way flight in 2016 to pick up a car I was buying from my brother and sister-in-law in North Carolina.

I have no particular trips scheduled at this time. I have not completely ruled out trying to take the RTRA trip back to Uganda next summer; after all, nearly half of the donors for this past trip actually gave me their money in 2019, so perhaps some of them wouldn’t mind giving again some time in the next few months. One thing I’ve learned from mission trips is that if God wants me to go somewhere, the contributions will come in — and often from unexpected, out-of-left-field donors. One of the biggest and most generous donations for this year’s Uganda trip came from a college friend with whom I’d only recently reconnected on social media.

John I. Carney

Author of “Dislike: Faith and Dialogue in the Age of Social Media,” available at