Who’s having fun here….????
It’s hard to believe that almost a year has gone by since my trip to Slovakia! 347 days to be exact! A lot happened there and a lot has happened since then! My heart has been changed and I’ve drawn closer to God in a lot of ways. What I experienced in Slovakia could never have been experienced here in the USA, on American soil. Both are equally important but sometimes God takes us out of our comfort zones to break us, mold us, and mend us into His image. If that means traveling 3000 miles away-then let’s go. If it means going 6 miles to Hillsville- I’m ready for that too.
It is hard to explain but I will try. I will never give up trying to teach people what I learned while I was out of this magnificent country of ours. I have had people say to me, ” that was an expensive trip, couldn’t that money have been used better here?” Listen, it’s not about the money- that belongs to God and if He wants you to go somewhere-He will supply your needs. It’s all about being obedient to God’s call. We don’t have all the answers when He calls-but if we hear Him-we better respond to Him. Because if we don’t-He will keep after us until we do.
When I left for Slovakia I was a selfish, self centered, prideful human being. When I returned a lot of that had been chipped away simply by being out of my comfort zone of the USA. I learned how to rely on God, how to rely on total strangers, some were team mates, some were at the church in Bratislava. God showed me who He was in each person as well as in myself. I saw the image of God in everyone. I don’t know if I would have seen that otherwise. When we are put in new places with new people, we must rely on God to get us through. We each have a different story to tell and we all learned something specifically for us personally and for the team. I saw 10 people come together as a family with 10 or 15 others in Bratislava. We became brothers and sisters. We were one family under God. For me, that was huge. I saw how we were the same in many, many, ways, yet different in others. Our culture makes us different, our country’s history makes us different, yet even with all of that going on- we are the same. We are human beings, each striving to get closer to God, to care for our families, our homes, our church, our community. We do it differently-and amazinglywe all get to the same place. Into the arms of God.
Money. It’s all God’s. God called, I responded and He sent me there. If it’s God’s will it’s going to happen. What I learned there, I have been able to bring back here and apply it to my life and how I serve God. If I hadn’t gone I wouldn’t be serving in the same capacity that I am today. Mission trips are all about growth. WE are the mission! Our hearts!!!! They tug, pull and stretch you in every direction imaginable. It doesn’t matter where you go-as long as it is where God tells you to go. No amount of money can buy what you learn on a mission trip-near or far. There is mission work happening in Hillsville, Galax, Mt. Airy and across the world. I read a quote the other day that said if we were all doing what we were supposed to be doing , feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and sheltering the homeless, we wouldn’t need the government to take care of these things. Can you imagine that? Us? Not needing the government???? WOW! Now that would save us some money- wouldn’t it?
We have a team of 20 people planning a trip to Nicaragua next July. God has given them a vision and He is helping the money to come in through fundraising. The team is putting feet on their prayers! 20 people will be leaving our church of 300 plus to take Christ to the dumps of Nicaragua. The dumps where kids don’t have a life, a home or parents. They fight to survive everyday. When the dump trucks pull into the dump, the kids swarm around it with these long rakes and they push and pull and fight over the trash. The trash. Can you imagine going to the dump in Hillsville and seeing this? I can’t. The least of ours is the most of theirs.
Let me say it again.
The LEAST of ours…trash
is the MOST of theirs…treasure.
20 of our flesh and blood, someone’s precious children no matter what age they are, will come back changed, heartbroken, passionate and ready to share what they learned about God with us and other people in Hillsville. What they learn, see and do in Nicaragua will change their lives forever and in turn they will bring all that back here and we will never be the same again either. 20 people can and will make a difference to the children in Nicaragua. An eternal difference. That leaves the rest of us here to do the work at home. We all can’t be in the same place-God uses each of us differently. We must each listen to God’s voice and respond as He would have us. I want to be on this trip, but this isn’t my time and I know it. God will let me know when it is.
So as I reflect on my trip, will you please be in prayer for everyone in mission from here at home to far away in places like Sudan, Haiti and Nicaragua. Pray for our team, each person, and every child that they work with to come to know Jesus. Pray for the missionary family who will be housing them, for their safety and for God’s hand of blessing upon their trip in July of 2011.
Peace and Grace,