I shall be veering from my regular format for the next few weeks.
I said YES to a short-term mission trip! Saturday the 12th I leave for Guatemala. I will be traveling with another nurse, a dentist, a doctor, and a pastor. Both this week and next my blog will address 6 ways that mission trips are supposed to change lives. (gulp) Okay – I went into this thing with eyes wide open and with no expectations. But I really think it’s gonna surprise me. I am writing next week’s blogs THIS week and will have to show Ted how to post these for you to read while I’m gone. And then, I plan to go over these 6 reasons again when I return – to see how things changed for me.
Seth Barnes* says that the sixth way a short-term mission trip can change a life is by growing our faith.
Well, that’s obvious.
But here’s how Seth describes it: “A good short term missions will throw you into the deep end, forcing you to the end of your comfort zone and resources, to a place where you’re forced to depend on God in new ways.”
I can remember, as a child, so many times when I took swim lessons. There were ‘many times’ because swimming did not come naturally to me and I am still not the best swimmer. But I can remember several instances when the swim teachers had me jump in at the deep end of the pool and expected me to swim to them in the shallow end. I have memories of NOT wanting to jump … and then once I did, I kicked furiously in fear as I tried to reach the surface to catch my breath. I would then attempt a breast stroke as I failed miserably at trying to suck in breaths of air (and not water) and make it to the shallow end where I would mercifully finally feel my feet on the bottom of the pool. I hated the water that went up my nose. I hated coughing up pool water.
It would have been nice if a strong water-resistant angel would have lifted me out of the troubled waters!
So – here I am throwing myself into a short-term mission and I guess if it gets too hard for me to handle, God is waiting to lift me up – keep me from drowning!
Okay – I can do it.
Seth suggested that “if your world is feeling claustrophobic and your faith is stagnating, chances are you need the kind of life-changing experience that Jesus gave his disciples when he began activating them on the first recorded short term mission experiences (read Luke 9 & 10).”
At the posting of this blog – I am on my last day of my trip and will be flying home tomorrow (July 19th). I’ve made it this far!
Can’t wait to tell you all about it!
2 Corinthians 10:15 Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.