warning: a tirade

Dear People To Whom We Sent Support Letters For The Jamaica Missions Trip:

WHAT?! A "missions" trip to JAMAICA?! You've got to be kidding me! JAMAICA?! All they do there is smoke pot, listen to reggae & lie on the beach, mon! Clearly this is just an opportunity for a bunch of kids to go on vacation together for 9 days. And what type of "missions" trip has students building classrooms for a local church, putting on a VBS, ministering at an orphanage and to shut-ins, and doing sports outreach in the community? SPORTS outreach?? That sounds FUN. Serving Jesus is NOT supposed to be fun. I mean, students in high school don't even understand the concept of serving or missions. 

Although - last year the youth group went to Jamaica for a "missions" trip, and it transformed the youth group. I suppose we have seen some of the students really mature in their relationships with Christ. 

And I suppose that there are maybe some problems in Jamaica that missions trips can assist. Turns out Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates per capita in the world. And I suppose, like many tourist attractions, Jamaica is a land of extremes - opulence v. poverty. And I suppose that there could be some opportunity for construction aid, since Jamaica also frequently experiences devastation from tropical storms and hurricanes. 

After thinking about it for awhile - and knowing our students and leaders - maybe it's not entirely a vacation. Granted, the students do have one "beach day" which, I suppose if you want to be really cynical, could overshadow the other eight days of missions work. 

Basically I just wanted to apologize to everyone who received a support letter - it was not my intention to ask for money for the Parton Vacation. 

But if you had a problem with it, you could have called ME before you sent a letter to our youth directors (who have worked tirelessly organizing a mission trip of 45 students and investing daily in the lives of young people) telling them that you "do not support college student vacations." 

Please - if you have any questions about anything Doug & I are doing, feel free to ask us in person (or, if that's not an option, phone, email - whatever). We're generally pretty reasonable people... 

... with the exception of an occasional snide blog post.


  1. oh, snap. Do you want me to have a word with these people? I've seen the poverty in Jamaica first-hand. Stuff like this infuriates me.

  2. Hey- we didn't even get a letter! Send us one!! I think I remember something about the Great Commission somewhere...

  3. have they ever even left Plymouth? you go girl!

  4. Was it Shakespeare or Milton that said, "... why not rather be wronged, why not rather be cheated?"

  5. I knew you were going to say that, Dad! I think it was Confucius?? Aristotle?? Someone like that...

  6. oh you parton's are always trying to pass your vacas off as mission trips and have others pay for them...
    um, seriously, someone thought those things?? and then actually voiced them and complained? who does that? i hope they read your blog and are embarrassed. and i hope they read my comment - shame on you!! just for that you had better give triple what you normally would have.