I’ve always wanted to go on at least one short term mission trip. (Probably all those missionary stories we read as a family… Plus the fact that both my parents went on one. My dad to Indonesia, and my mom to Honduras. They both talk about them regularly, and they obviously affected them–and not only them, but us as well.)
Especially after my trip last year. I ended it with the attitude of, God, wherever you want me to go, that’s where I’ll go. Whatever you want me to do, that’s what I’ll do.
I was hoping to go on one next year–I filled out my passport application information and was planning to get it by the end of the year.
And then, suddenly, there was this opportunity. And my father was the one who suggested we go. And I had no reservations, no wondering if this is what we should do or not. I just knew. So we looked it up, printed out the forms, and started filling them out.
So, yesterday I sent in my application for going to Central America for two weeks in December. And within an hour, I got an email back saying I was accepted. I wasn’t expecting it to be that fast, haha.
Just 9 days after hearing about this trip, and I’m already accepted. (Now my brother and sister just need to hurry up and get accepted too!) I’m applying for my passport on Friday with my brother. It seems like it’s moving very quickly… and yet, it also seems like I’ve been planning this for a long time. Or, at least, God has.
People often say that their short term mission trip changed their life. What I haven’t heard before is that just thinking about the trip before you go changes your life.
This has definitely been true for me…
To be honest, the idea rather terrifies me. I have no idea what to expect, really, except that it will be hot (And I do. not. like. heat.), and that the people and culture will be different from what I am used to. Oh yes, and there are lots of insects (not that I really mind insects, just… diseases. Also cockroaches.)
It sounds really uncomfortable. Heat, bug bites, people who don’t speak my language, dirt, long days, sickness, the unknown, sharing my testimony (especially with a translator!)…
And I realize just how far I have to go.
Why am I thinking of that? Why am I not thinking of souls who need Christ, or ones who know Christ and need encouragement? Why am I not thinking of the chance to glorify God?
I do think of it, sometimes. But it’s a conscious effort. I can tell already that I’m not going to be a model missionary-for-two-weeks. I haven’t even gone and I’m already humbled.
I am memorizing James 2… My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
Even before I knew about this trip, I was thinking about this a lot–how dare we hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality?? It’s not ours! And He has particularly singled out the poor people!!
But now–thinking of going to people who are poor on a level I’ve never seen before–(suddenly I feel rich) I wonder how I will react. I think of the homeless people who were in front of our church when we came for Bright Lights–sure, I wasn’t mean, but I didn’t even say hi. I smiled, sort of. I wished they would go away. I reprimanded myself (or maybe that was the Holy Spirit.) and remembered that these are folks Jesus died for, and they need love and care just like me. But I didn’t do much about it, besides changing the way I was thinking.
Then there are the neighbors across the street–I don’t even know their names, much less the state of their souls. I don’t know who lives there and who is just visiting. Doesn’t seem very caring of me. Which is because it isn’t.
That’s just a few of the uncomfortable thoughts and humbling things I’ve learned about myself in this weekish of thinking about this trip. There’s still three months left–and then the actual trip.
I already knew I needed God; already knew I had a lot of room to grow… but now I see a whole new level.
Which is exciting. And a little scary. Which more or less describes life with God.
P.S. Should I start a blog for this trip or should I do it all here?