When you hear your church or an organization talk about taking a mission trip, whether a few days to a couple of weeks, does something in your spirit tug at you to go? You hear about the work they may be doing, the difference it can make, and the opportunities it will provide. It pulls at your compassion, and you consider your options. And too often, I hear of people changing their mind, making up excuses, or just do not get signed up. And honestly, they miss a blessing.
I am reminded of many in the Bible who said “yes” to God when He called them. In particular, I think of Abraham when God said to him in Genesis 12:1, “Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.”
Can you imagine going somewhere blindly without really knowing what will happen next? But in reality, we do that every day of our lives. We do not know what the day will bring so all we can do is simply be on mission where we are and let God direct our path.
However, when you go on mission, take a mission opportunity, say “yes” to God, I have learned going really does change lives. Not only to those I minister and care for, but I am changed.
When disasters strike and Kentucky disaster relief volunteers respond, there are some things I have noticed. And this is true with anytime we go on mission.
God Takes Us to the Unfamliar.
Every time I respond to a disaster; every time I go on a mission trip; every time I say “yes, I’ll go,” God takes me to unfamiliar places. There are new people to meet, new sites to see, new opportunities to experience, new skills to learn and so much more. And He changes me.
God Shows Us the Unexpected.
I have learned no mission trip has ever gone as planned. The reason: I am not in control. God is. I have experienced tire trouble in a strange town only to have an unexpected encounter to have a gospel conversation. I have seen God set up divine appointments with someone that only God could schedule. I have had people come up to me at a gas station asking for prayer or for a Bible which opened doors for ministry. All completely unexpected. I am reminded, I am not in control, God is and in unexpected ways, places and time. And He changes me.
God Teaches Us the Understanding.
When Jesus was washing the disciples’ feet in John 13, He said to Peter in vs. 7, “Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” There are so many times in the going and even in the doing I do not understand the why. But I have learned to trust and know God will show me. Not always in my time, but His. And as He teaches me, understanding comes. And when the understanding comes, He changes me.
The next time God tugs at your heart calling and compelling you to go on mission for Him, will you take that step? Will you say “yes?”
Let God take you to the unfamiliar, show you the unexpected, and teach you the understanding. And I promise you, your going will change you. He changed me.