Just a few days have passed since I returned to The States from a week-long mission trip to Coahuila, Mexico serving with about 150 other Americans. With all the preparation that comes before a trip like this, it’s always so hard to see it go by so quick. There is mental preparation that comes along with entering a new country/culture, and then once you begin to adjust to that culture a few days/weeks pass and you’re on your way back home to reality. There are SO many things that I could write about based off of this trip, and I really wish I could write out all of my thoughts, but I’m positive no one wants to read that novel so I’m sticking with the thing that spoke to my heart most this time around.
For those of you reading, whether you’ve been on a mission trip yourself or just know someone who has been, I’m sure the one thing you hear the most is this statement: “I loved going on this mission trip because my eyes were opened. The people had so little, yet were so happy and it made me realize how grateful I am to have the things that I have.” Am I right? I know I’m right because I’ve heard it a thousand times, and I’m even guilty of saying it myself. Allow me to explain why this trip was different, and why I didn’t come back with that being my “most impactful and transforming” lesson.
Mission trips don’t exist so that we can raise money to go into another country and learn that we are spoiled and that we can be happy with so little. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an important thing to see. It’s important to know that the culture we live in is not the only culture, and that it isn’t right nor wrong. It’s important to know that we can survive without 90% of the things we think we couldn’t live a day without. But is that truly what we’re to come back resting in and leaning on? How about this: We got to experience the very Kingdom of God. We got a glimpse of how wide, how deep, how long, and how high His love is. We worshipped with believers who don’t even speak the same language as us, but don’t you realize that there is more to the world than “me” or “us”? God’s Kingdom is FULL of the small portion we got to witness. We get to worship for eternity with these believers that follow the same God we follow, regardless of what possessions either of us have or what language we speak. Think of all the people you tried to carry a conversation with but it was hard to learn anything other than their name or favorite color because you didn’t know any other words. You know that person? You get to experience Heaven with them, fully understanding each other by the grace of Jesus Christ. There will come a day when all of God’s people will be together.
Don’t you want to be able to say that you would go anywhere just to see God’s face? We don’t go places to see what the world wants us to see. We go to see God. I believe He wants us to see that if relationships can be formed here on earth even with a language barrier, how much greater will they be in Heaven? How much more rich will they be? I can’t even begin to fathom the glory that will be revealed to us. Praise God for the opportunity to go into the World to bring more people Home.
Gracias a Dios!
– Katie Newton
Friendswood Friends Church
Freshman at Barclay College