One of the things my sister, Hannah, and I wanted to do after graduation was minister to others. Schooling takes up a good portion of a student's day, so, once we graduated and had more free time, we wanted to go on missions trips! After all, we've spent all this time learning, why should we not go and help others?
So, I'm excited to say that my sister and I are going on our first mission trip!! And it's 15 days away!!!
The whole "getting to go" part of the missions trip is really an answer to unspoken prayer. The Lord knew that Hannah and I wanted to go on a missions trip but we just didn't know where and how to get involved (that didn't involve lots of $$). God brought the opportunity right to our doorstep!!
If I haven't told you this already, our home is currently undergoing a kitchen addition. Years of bumping each other constantly in the kitchen is about to end!! Anyway, we have a missions team from our old church building the addition. The way it works, is that we pay a certain amount of money for one (or two) qualified builders/contractors to come build the addition. There are many other people who come and volunteer as well. The money we give the team for a full day of work goes, every dollar and cent, to their "mission fund". Their mission fund goes to funding their missions trips (duh! :). So, none of the people who come out to build the addition are gaining any personal benefit...they are working for the purpose of glorifying God and blessing others through ministry. It's wonderful.
What makes this team even more wonderful is that I know 90% of the people who are working on our addition. These people were part of my lives for 10+ years and many of them I don't remember not knowing. We went to church together on Sundays, Sunday nights, and Wednesday nights, as well as for picnics, potlucks, softball games, VBS, etc. I loved all of the people at our old church and they loved in return. I have some wonderful memories from our old church, that I just haven't been able to experience anywhere else.
All warm, gushy feelings aside this missions team was going on a missions trip in July. Mr. Reynolds, the leader of the "mission team", invited Hannah and I to join them. Plain and simple. We thought about it off and on and when we had to commit we said yes! We never really prayed about it but I think we both knew we wanted to do this and that the Lord had brought this opportunity to us. Plus, we didn't have to pay anything to go, we would get to be the hands and feet of Jesus to people we'd never met but who were in need, and we'd get to spend 6 days with people we loved and knew!! It was a no-brainer. :)
Needless to say, I'm excited! The only *very slight* damper to my excited state of mind is that it will be HOT and HUMID on this missions trip. We're leaving July 22nd (at 6 A.M.) and getting back Friday, the 27th. I have noticed that July is not the coolest month of the year and I have this amazing capability to sweat through anything and everything I'm wearing if it's above 80 degrees. :) So, I know there will be some long, hot days but overall I'm excited!
Like I mentioned above, we'll have to leave our house around 5:15 A.M. on July 22nd to be at our old church by 5:45 and ready to leave by 6 A.M. Hannah and I will be riding with Mr. Reynolds and his daughter, Amber (who's my age), for the 10 hour trip to Kentucky (they say it takes them 12 hours due to the stops for gas, food, and the restroom :). Then, Monday morning we'll begin our first work day with the last full day being on Thursday. Our group of 16 will be split up (probably in half) and then taken to different work sites where we'll help people in need, whether it be painting, fixing things, or just building relationships with them (many of whom don't know the Lord).
The missions trip is done through CAP or Christian Appalachian Project. I love how this missions trip is in the U.S.A. I think many people (and myself sometimes!) forget that there is poverty around us (even in "prosperous" America), so we think we always have to go overseas to reach the needy. That's simply not true...there are always needs and there will always be people in poverty (John 12:8), no matter where you live. We just have to be willing to open our eyes and look.
Anyways, just wanted to share with you about the upcoming missions trip!! I'm way excited and would appreciate any prayers. Some specific things to pray for being: that God would move mightily in our hearts and the hearts of those we're working with, that any attempts Satan makes to thwart our efforts will be destroyed, that people will see Jesus in us, and that everyone will be safe the whole week.
Thanks so much!