Tag Archives: Mission Trips

God’s Faithfulness

16 Jul

God’s Faithfulness – By Chelsea

I was so blessed with the opportunity to go back to the Dominican Republic this year. I saw and learned so many things. God truly revealed Himself to me, and I learned how to love others the way Christ loved us. One thing in particular that struck me again this year was the genuine joy that the people have, despite their impoverished conditions. They are so willing to surrender themselves to God. In spite of the fact that some families do not know whether they will be able to afford their next meal, they rejoice because they know that God will provide and that His will is completely sovereign. They know that this Earth is merely temporary, and they look forward to what is to come. This just moved me and made me ask myself: What is holding me back from completely giving myself to God? Why can’t I be like these people? I have everything I could possibly need, yet I still complain. These people have absolutely nothing, yet they’re so grateful for the lives they’ve been given.
The answer came. Recently, I went to ETV, a Christian camp in Oregon. In a very unfortunate turn of events, one student and one counselor tragically drowned, despite many bystanders’ efforts to save them. It was a total shock to all of us. However, God used this experience to help me and several others realize that life is short, and that God wants each and every one of us to use the lives we’ve been so graciously given to glorify Him. It finally hit home with me, so I got down on my knees and just surrendered myself to God. It was so neat to see how God used the lives of those two men to encourage and inspire us to live better lives to the glory of His name. It was so neat to see how the body of Christ came together and supported each other during this time. It was a beautiful thing. Because of these two experiences, I understand that God is faithful through both the good times and the bad. He is always there when we need Him, and we just have to trust that He will come through. God is good!

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Trusting in God’s Plan

21 Jun

Author- Julia

Well, we leave for the Dominican Republic in just a few short hours.

There are so many things that go into preparing for a missions trip. Let me run a few by you:

First, you throw the idea out into the open and see who is interested in going; the pastor and trip leaders run interviews and take applications. We are asked many things from what our basic testimony is to what we want to learn and see on the trip.

Next, we plan the trip, this I was not a part of. The trip leaders and the Dominican staff email each other constantly to figure out details. They plan every detail of this trip down to the hour. Where will we eat, where will we stay, when will we have time to talk. Everything.

Then, the group gets together to train for what they will be doing on the trip. For our trip to the Dominican Republic we got together as a group many times. We did multiple full day training sessions, we had dinnertime get-togethers, the church held a prayer night for our trip, we also had a shoe-sorting party (we will be taking 605 pairs of shoes to the DR with us). We held a team work party where we went and painted an elderly recreational center. This piece was crucial to the trip preparation as it was a time to bond with our team and see how we work as well as who has which gifting’s.

Finally, we had our packing party. Just the other night we took those 605 pairs of shoes, all of our craft supplies, all the baby cloths, and shoved them into our bags to take to the DR.

But in the end, none of this will mean much compared to the actual trip, what we said in our interviews about what we wanted to learn, might be completely different from what God has planned for us. And all of the insane planning that the staff and our leaders did could change on a dime when we get down there. All of the team get-togethers in the world could never show us how we are going to react to the complete culture change down there. Even our packing could be for nothing, bags can always be lost or stolen.

Now, this is not to sound cynical, I have no doubt that all of our hard work will be useful, but its crucial to remember that all the planning in the world could never make a perfectly smooth trip. Things will go wrong. But God never does anything without a purpose. So, maybe God has a completely different lesson for us to learn than we thought, or maybe we will be surprised by something we were never able to see in one of our team-mates before, maybe a change in the schedule leads to meeting someone that really needed us.

My point is that you can’t plan what God has in store for you. We will never be able to guess what is going to happen to our team in the DR. But we can open our hearts and minds to change and know that it’s God’s will. No matter how this trip goes, we need to trust that the trip is exactly how God planned.

Expectations

4 Aug

By Julia Jones

The last few weeks I have often found myself imagining the situations our group will be in. I’ve imagined walking into mud huts and meeting families whose stories will blow my mind. I’ve imagined seeing the tears in my friend’s eyes as we see children living out in the streets. I see in my mind the joyful smiles that mothers will give us as we leave the CSP project (Child Survival Program). I’ve imagined a cozy air-conditioned room with hot water and no bugs, I’ve thought about beautiful weather with children playing out in the sun. And I’ve even thought of lessons that God might teach me through this trip.

I’ve imagined and created all of these wonderful stories and situations that we could be in. But no matter how much I would like it to, this trip will NOT follow my expectations.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

God’s plan is SO much greater than my expectations. In reality all of my expectations could be completely let down. And if I maintain these expectations, this trip could be lost to me. If I only look for my expectations to be fulfilled, I could miss the truly amazing things that God has planned for me on this trip. Especially if I expect God to teach me specific lessons.

We will be staying in a large room with bunk beds and mosquito nets, it will not be air-conditioned, and there will be no hot water. There are lots of bugs. The weather report says scattered thunderstorms everyday, with low 90’s and 100% humidity. And if you haven’t been looking up the weather for the Caribbean area, there is a tropical storm blowing right through Haiti and parts of the Dominican Republic. Already most of my expectations have been dashed upon a rock, and we haven’t even left yet. But I need to remind myself that this is God’s plan. With no doubt, this trip will be exactly what God wants it to be. Please be praying that God’s will be done on this trip, pray that we will learn the lessons God has for us, and we will grow spiritually, and pray for the islands that are being hit by tropical storm Emily.