Exhilarating! Demanding! Rewarding! Disruptive! Humbling! A gush of emotionally-charged descriptions erupt from hearts impacted by a short term mission trip. It’s virtually impossible to go, serve and return unscathed from the work of the Holy Spirit. Most frequently team members exclaim, “This is fun!” And it is fun. But not always. And not without cost.
The inescapable requirement of all trips is …. RISK.
You risk having your faith stretched. You taste what its truly like to extend yourself way beyond your comfort zone, to move into the unknown, to face your fears, trust in the presence and promises of God, and see Him “show up” in awe-inspiring ways.
You risk enduring unpleasant sights, smells, and surprises. A cacophony of foreign sound and traffic, the odd looking and tasting local cuisine, coupled with the inevitable unsettling change of plans compels you to confront your cultural biases and personal preferences.
You risk seeing your own life and culture in a new light. Once your heart is broken by encountering joyful faces living amidst poverty, you begin to wonder whether all the shiny gadgets and perks of our American culture are really priorities for you.
You risk catching a vision for reaching our lost and hurting world. Oft times one returns from a trip with an illusionary romanticized view of the “mission field” as a rapid-paced week of doing good and making new friends across cultural boundaries. Long termers know the reality of the slow, uncertain grind of pouring out your life with little reward. Even so, the Spirit might thrust you beyond the novelty of a short term experience to the high calling of a life of service.
You risk being infected with a compelling need to serve locally. The best response to a positive Reaching Trip experience is not to look forward to the next trip when you can do this again. Rather, it is to seek ways to serve locally…and then sign up for another trip!
Spring and Summer GFC REACHING TRIPS are forming now – to New Orleans, Alaska and Peru. Be forewarned – these trips are “risky,” they could change your life.
Can’t GO on a REACHING Trip? Be a SENDER by praying and supporting. Every team needs your prayers Your financial gift will make a team’s ministry possible. Online giving is quick and available on each of the Reaching Trip pages. GFCnow.com/trips
Posted on Tue, January 15, 2013
by Larry Nees filed under