What’s in it for me? That was the question that swirled around in my mind during the month of March 2015. I was trying to decide whether or not I should go on a Touching Lives for Christ (TLC) mission trip. While praying about it for many days and diligently seeking God’s will for my summer plans, I often repeated that initial question. Honestly, I did not know if mission work was a fit for me. With TLC’s boot camp scheduled to start in early June, I had absolutely no time to waste making this big decision! To travel with TLC, I had to quit my job. I also had to consider how I would cover the trip’s large expense. But thankfully, my church background had consistently taught me about trusting God.
I grew up in a conservative holiness Christian family and attended a church where I would frequently hear about missions. It amazed me time and time again as a missionary would tell about needing money or prayer support for a situation and how God came through to meet each need. Sometimes the stories and situations sounded impossible. Through the years as I listened, I learned that God makes the totally impossible completely possible. Based on nothing but my faith, I decided I was indeed going to the mission field with TLC. I knew it was what God wanted me to do. With less than four weeks remaining to find the money for my trip, I started praying and fundraising, and God definitely came through! I collected almost the full amount before going on the trip!
Looking back, I can unquestionably see why God paved the way for me to go to the Amazon. The trip was life changing! I will always remember the experiences I had teaching and preaching in the villages and helping with the kid’s ministries. It was the trip of a lifetime. God absolutely used this event to begin my missionary career. Through my TLC journey, He gave me a glimpse of what is involved in mission work.
My perspective on mission work changed tremendously while on the trip to the Amazon. Not only did I receive a personal call to the mission field, I also enrolled in the Intercultural Studies program at Hobe Sound Bible College. On the trip I saw firsthand the true value of each missionary, and it made me want to volunteer.
I realize missionary work in a foreign country is not for everyone. However, we are all called to be an active part of missions. Whether our part is talking to the next-door neighbor, sharing the love of Christ in a different state, or sharing Jesus in a completely new place, we will all be held responsible to help fulfill God’s mission.
I admit that I started thinking about a TLC trip last spring asking what might be in it for me, but I left my Amazon experience asking what should be in it for God. What could TLC do for YOU?