Hellooo! Anybody home?
Seriously, it’s been awhile since I’ve written a legitimate post; so long that I see some of my favorite bloggers have entered into the blogging abyss with me.
So, I want to thank those of you who continue to come into our corner.
Anyways, I thought I’d break into the blogging world by talking about the Missions Trip that I recently went on.
Yes, I went on my first legitimate missions trip ever! For those of you who don’t know, a missions trip is a place Christians (in my case) go with the intent to spread the Word of God. It doesn’t have to be a place where you preach, in fact, it can be as non-religious as teaching a language, tutoring, or playing with children but the intent for doing the activity is to use that space to show God’s love.
That’s just what we did.
A group of us went to, basically, play with and feed children but we did so much more than that.
Yes, we taught Bible stories in the process but the lessons I learned took place outside of the organized chaos.
1. I Learned How to Share Love: Although I am very blessed, growing up, I never really did have an affectionate family and that bothered me. I craved the loving hugs, kisses, and general affection that only a mother could give. Now that I am older, I often worry if I can provide to others the gap that I was missing. I, myself, am not a “touchy-feely” kind of gal. But praise God for these children!
I never once felt out of place giving them hugs and holding even the oldest of children. God allowed me to meet people who craved love. I met children who wouldn’t leave my side. I loved some for a minute and others for a week.
I saw an 8 year old boy who was so heavily guarded that he wouldn’t even hold our hands like most of the other children did. I watched as he slowly let his guard down throughout the week. I saw the disappointment in his face as he ran to his street corner, one day, to go to Bible Club and we had to tell him that he’d missed it. I heard him repeatedly ask if we would get him the next day.
By the end of the week this boy had gotten so used to us that he was talking and smiling; he even asked to jump on my back. This elation of progress among the leaders turned into sadness as we had to tell him that that this day was our last day.
It made me wonder was it worth it to consistently love on a child for a week just to let them go the next week.
2. I Learned to Trust God: God truly provided me with what I needed for this trip from the money needed to go, to meals, to strength. One thing that truly amazed me was the day I had to teach.
I was tasked to share a particular Bible story with children ages 2 to 12. If that isn’t a daunting task for an introvert, I don’t know what is.
Now, I must post a disclaimer and say that I do generally love to speak but anyone who works with small children knows that talking to a 5 year old is way different then talking to a 20 year old. You have to be animated and engaging; not just in what you say but in how you say it.
Needless to say, everything about this task made me nervous.
So I prayed. And guess what?
God showed up.
I mean, He completely changed my personality. The lesson that I had planned went down the drain.
I was embarrassingly charismatic. I made illustrations that I never thought of. I said things that I just don’t say in large crowds. All of it was done (for the most part) without fear and embarrassment.
In fact, the group that we thought would give us the most problems, were the most engaged (and stayed that way for the rest of the week).
God completely changed me into who I needed to be.
Throughout the entire week, I asked God to put me where he wanted me or to instruct me as to what he wanted me to say. He did.
I “happened” to talk to a boy who is in the exact spiritual situation I was in not too long ago. I “happened” to talk to a girl(s) about missions,racism, and the history of it all. I happened to ask God what to say to this little boy who was hurting (I confess, I don’t remember the exact conversation) and I spoke words that were not my own.
I doubted God for a long time about how much he cared about me. I believe He used this trip helped me to see how much he cares about me, personally, and how He cares for others.
3. I Learned That my Home Truly is a Battle Field: I’ve gone through (and am still going through) a lot in my family and within myself. But I’m learning how to respond to it all with wisdom and grace.
4. They Listen Even When it Seems Like They Don’t:
Day 1 of Bible Club consisted of kids shuffling around, looking at everyone but the teacher, and showing the general signs of “I’m not listening to you”; one boy even put his hands over his ears and started humming to annoy another leader!
BUT day 2 consisted of children reciting exactly what the Bible story from the day before consisted of with names included.
They were listening. They are listening. Don’t get discouraged.
Coming back home from this trip, I was a little afraid of falling back into my old habits but God puts the right people and resources in the right places.
For instance, I had really tough time getting involved in my church. The ministry would have everyone they needed or some leaders simply wouldn’t respond.
Do you know that the lead ministry lady “happened” to attend this trip and we “happened” to talk about this subject and she “happened” to get me plugged into some of the areas that I am interested in.
All things considered, this trip was totally worth it. Although it seemed like loosing almost a week of pay and paying to work even harder then normal wouldn’t be beneficial, what I saw and learned are PRICELESS.
Today, I am slowly learning how to rely on God and to be consistent in my relationship with Him. What are you learning?