Go On A Mission Trip, Who Me?

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Feed the hungry,

    and help those in trouble.

Then your light will shine out from the darkness,

    and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.

Isaiah 58:10 NLT

Missions trips?

Me?

Not in a million years.

It’s not “my thing”. Nope, it's not for me. 

Trips are important and I believe in the difference they make, but I just can’t see myself going on one. I’ll write the check, the letters and tell my friends about it, but please oh please don’t make me go.

I would be the one to get sick, hurt, …you name it, I thought of a thousand different reasons why it wasn’t for me and for the last ten years that has been my excuse. In the meantime my husband has been going on missions trips; to Cuba, Haiti and Guatemala. He’s even taken our teenage boys with him to Haiti and Guatemala, but never, ever, did I want to go with them.

Until last summer when on a mission trip to Guatemala our Compassion daughter, Ericka, asked my husband if I would come the next year. He told her that he would bring me with him the next time he came, but he also knew that it would be an uphill battle to get me to agree to go.

When he got back to the states it was one of the very first things he told me, and quite honestly as soon as he finished saying it, he quickly asked me to consider it. I would have almost a year to make up my mind he reasoned, but in that moment I blurted out “yeah, I need to go”. I honestly don’t think he thought I was serious and I’m not sure that I fully comprehended what that statement would mean, but in my heart, I knew something had changed.

“God loves you right where you are but he doesn't want to leave you there. ”  – Max Lucado

We’ve sponsored Ericka since 2009 as well as Luis since 2011, so we’ve had some history from our letters as well as past mission trips in partnership with our church and Compassion International. Over the years there have been dozens of letters, pictures, and drawings sent back and forth. 

In the last three years my husband and both of our sons have gone on a trip to build classrooms, stoves, paint schools, and host VBS with the kids. Part of the trip is also getting to go on a child visit day. This is a special day in which Compassion sets up an afternoon for you to spend with your sponsor child, usually accompanied by one of their parents, a teacher or tutor from their school and a translator. 

These child visit days are the highlight to a very busy week and in my case was the main reason I knew I had to go this year. This year my entire family was going to be able to go, for the first time ever. All the t’s were crossed and all the i’s dotted, and we were getting everything ready for us to go, when just two and half weeks before the trip I injured my foot while working out and ended up with a stress fracture. 

While in the urgent care center getting x-rays, my husband tells me that he doesn’t think I can go on the trip with crutches. The terrain is too tough and I would probably not do well–as a matter of fact, I might not be able to go. Completely devastated I just started to cry. Not the cute little sniffle cry, but the big ugly weeping and sobbing cry. I was ready to go. Why did this have to happen now? I went for an MRI, to a specialist and immediately started physical therapy with a tight deadline to get me mobile for the trip. The doctor, in the meantime, put me in a big bulky black boot, but at least I could walk on my own now.

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Off I went on an early Monday morning from Miami to Guatemala–ready to go where He sends me. Stepping into the adventure of this life He’s graciously given me, ready to see what He needs me to see and to experience His grace and goodness in new ways.

“The will of God is never exactly what you expect it to be. It may seem to be much worse, but in the end it's going to be a lot better and a lot bigger. ”  – Elisabeth Elliot

I’ve been back for just a few weeks now and to be quite honest I’m struggling. Struggling to put to words all that I experienced, all that I saw, all the work that God did to my heart in the two and a half days that I was there. It doesn’t seem that long and yet, while there it was a non-stop, heart bursting adventure of faith. 

We went to a parade, in our honor (how crazy is that?), in the streets of a small little village (see the first picture on this post) where the kids danced, sang and played music for us. We visited their church/ school, homes with dirt floors, families without basic necessities like food and water, as well as an opportunity to worship with them in a celebration of His love for them…for us…and for you.

I wish you could see what I saw and feel what I felt, but I know that this particular trip was for me to see. There are other trips and places just for you. I know, I know…that’s just not “your thing” and boy can I relate with you on that. Here me on this sweet sister; if you go where He sends you, you will be challenged, blessed and stretched in ways you could never imagine.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be on a mission trip to Guatemala. Your mission field is right where He has you. In your neighborhood, your work, your child’s school, your grocery store and even in your home…or maybe, just maybe He's nudging you to go on a mission trip or even sponsor a child. I don't know what it is for you, but I promise you this, whatever it is will stretch you in new & exciting ways.

What about you…
Where is He asking you to go right now?
What’s keeping you from taking that step?

Sweet friend, I can’t wait to hear what’s in your heart right now. Please make sure to leave me a note and let me know. I would love to hear all about it.

Seeking JOY on the Journey,

Melissa Mashburn

Real Women. Real Life. Real Faith.

 

PS – Can I ask you just one more question? Have you ever thought about sponsoring a child through Compassion? Four years ago we took that step of faith, and we never dreamed where God would take us with that one step. What if you were to start your adventure right there? There are thousands of kids all over the world looking for someone to sponsor them right now. Click the link on the banner and find out more, thanks so much! Love, Melissa

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Melissa Mashburn

Melissa is a woman who is passionately pursing God every day by taking her everyday, ordinary life and placing it as her offering to Him. With a heart to "keep it real" her life and ministry is all about "Real Women, Real Life, Real Faith" in action. She's an author, speaker, Pastor's Wife, Connections Director at her church, ministry leader and more importantly mom to two adult sons, Nick & Bailey. Melissa has been married to her best friend, her true North, Matt for 22 years, they live and enjoy ministry life in Sunny South Florida.

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2 Comments

  1. My husband and I are headed on our first mission trip – to Guatemala – June 1-8. We also have a Compassion “granddaughter” – the age of our grandson – in Guatemala, who we have sponsored through Compassion for 8 years, but she lives too far from the area where we will be ministering to get to see her… so near, yet so far! But we also felt the call – exciting to see where it takes us!

    Reply
    • Kristin, that is so super exciting…I can not wait to hear what happens while you are there and after you get back and get a chance to process all that you’ve experienced. It IS an exciting time…as a matter of fact, we are going BACK to Guatemala this summer. Our first group went 5 years ago with 8 people…this year we are bringing 40 people, God is soooo good!

      You mentioned in your comment…”we have sponsored through Compassion for 8 years, but she lives too far from the area where we will be ministering to get to see her… so near, yet so far! ” // Here’s what I know, if you contact Compassion and have them contact the GU country office they can (and often times DO) arrange for a meeting for you and your sponsored child WHILE you are in country. It is not out of the ordinary for them but it can only happen IF you contact them ahead of time and let them know the dates, info, etc. of your trip.

      If you need help trying to get in touch with the right people let me know, I have a few contacts at the GU country office that might be able to help in some way. I would just hate for you to be THAT close and miss that chance.

      Praying for you as you prepare…
      Melissa

      Reply

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