Mission trips are BY FAR my very favorite part of the summer. I love getting a group of people together to share the gospel. It is seriously Heaven! If you have never been on a mission trip and have the opportunity to go, DO IT! You won’t regret it.
This past year I was able to go to South Carolina. I have been in past years but this year was definitely my favorite. Our team was so unified and we worked well together, it made the whole week so much fun.
This was my last trip with my church because my family has recently moved to a different state. It was a bittersweet end to the chapter of my life with my old church. I love them dearly so I was happy to have one last hurrah!
I wanted to take this post to share some of the things I experienced on the trip, lessons I learned and changes I will be making in my life.
My favorite memory, by far, happened on one of the first nights. One of my close friends accepted Jesus into his life for the very first time! As you can imagine, all of us were so excited for him. The night was filled with tears of joy, thanksgiving, and a lot of dancing (on my part) It was a feeling I will never forget. We hear all the time about God’s love for us and how relentlessly he chases after each of us. Something about seeing my friend accept Jesus and hearing about the long road that led him to this point just made the relentless chase so much more real for me.
Along with that, there were so many other memories and experiences that just overwhelmed me with this peace and hope I have never felt before. I have mentioned in many previous posts that the Lord has called me to some very hard things this past year, and while It was hard for me to obey the Lord, He has given me enough strength to obey Him. On this trip, although it was so sad to say goodbye to people I love, all of my friends and I just had this peace about the whole thing. While it was sad I had to leave, we all knew that God had something bigger for each one of us. Bigger things than we could ever imagine.
Each morning on the trip we got the opportunity to help lead groups for this huge VBS. I was put into a group of about nine kids and an adult leader. I LOVED getting to love on the kids and dance and sing songs to our loving father. Halfway through the week, this little boy was added to our group. The first day of VBS he was in another group and didn’t have the best experience. He decided to come back but asked to be put into a different group (which was my group!!!)
I was very nervous to see how the day would go. Our group was mostly girls with two boys that were VERY close. I prayed and prayed for this little boy. I prayed that the Lord would soften the other boy’s hearts to him and love him. I prayed that I would be able to connect with this little guy and help him to feel valued.
As his mom dropped him off that morning, you could see the hesitancy in her eyes. She was scared that her little boy would not be welcomed. I tried to reassure her with a smile but honestly, I was scared as well.
I introduced myself and tried to strike up a conversation. But I kid you not, I got about two words out and the kid had already turned around to talk to the other boys! They talked about video games, some weird cartoon I know nothing about, and what VBS songs were their favorites. It was so amazing to see this boy connect and feel loved. After the day was over, I asked him, “on a scale of 1 to 10, how awesome was today?” To which he responded, “30” so I’d say that God REALLY answered my prayers.
These little stories don’t even begin to describe how amazing this trip was. I am forever changed from this trip and left feeling so ready to go and love my new community. The last night of the trip we were “sent out” to our communities to live life on a mission trip back home. I won’t go into great detail about the whole night (forever one of my favorite memories) but I can honestly say that I left that trip with such a deep sense of urgency and drive to impact and love my new home. In the words of someone very near to my heart, “This is just the beginning.” While saying goodbye is one of the hardest things we have to do in life, saying hello to others makes it all worth it.
Hello change, I’m ready for you!
XOXO, The Christian Prepster