Our plans for the week also consisted of hosting a VBS for the children in the area, but nothing prepared us for the way we fell in love with the people of that small church thousands of miles from home.
That trip taught me so much, but the lesson that impacted me the most was that God is not just the God of me and others like me, but the God of people with different languages, socioeconomic contexts and cultures. The American church is not the savior of churches in developing countries, but God has empowered the local Church everywhere to be a beacon of hope in a dark world. God used that trip to show me that I have something to offer, and that He has gifted me in a unique way for His glory. And it was on this trip that I learned to look for other people’s needs, because it’s not just the ones who fit into our small definition of “poverty” who need our love. Everyone is in need.
God came home with me and led me through four years of Bible college, five years of vocational ministry and He is continuing to walk with me in my journey of coordinating international mission trips for CIY Engage.
I am profoundly grateful for that trip God used 13 years ago to get me to where I am today. The nights that we spent in tents on a church lawn were formative in my faith, and necessary for discovering the call that Christ placed on my life to be a Kingdom worker.
Mission trips have guided many people to lives of Kingdom work, and a similar experience could be the very thing you need to create for you or your youth group.