Are you considering a mission trip with BWO? If you are reading this, then you may be searching – looking for something that helps explain why you have a tug at your heart to do mission work. Five years ago, I was searching as well – feeling a tug to “Go,” but coming up with lots of reasons why I shouldn’t go. In fact, I look back on that time and would compare it to the story of Jonah. I felt God’s call on my heart to step out of my comfort zone, and I ran the other direction. “You must be kidding God!” “There is no way I could afford it!” “You must be mistaken. I have small children, I am a single mom. It simply is not possible.” I ran, mainly out of fear, trying to hide from God’s will and plan for my life.
But God is patient and He kept whispering that call on my heart. I kept coming up with excuses to not go, but God would continue to show me that all of the things that were holding me back were in His hands. My time, my finances, my energy, and my children – they all belonged to Him. None of these things are my own. My life belongs to God, and the life I want to live is to be for His glory – in all things. How could I teach my children about God’s love, promise, and compassion when I deny what He calls me to do? In those moments of surrender, God gave me such a peace. He reassured me that my life and my children’s lives were in His hands, and that I simply have to trust Him and walk by faith. With that, my fears completely faded and I found Believers World Outreach that very night.
I have traveled with BWO on several mission trips over the last few years – twice to Belize and once to Africa. I returned to Africa for a second time with a small medical group that met during the first BWO Africa trip. While the stories I could share with you are many, there is one verse that is always with me, whether it’s mission work in Africa or sharing the gospel in my own town, “He must become greater, I must become less.” John 3:30.
No work, ministry, project, task will please God or bear fruit unless God is in control of it. When I would try to do things out of my own strength, it failed. But in order to let God's will be done, I had to become less so that He could become more. I had to pray, I had to follow God's leading, and I had to be that empty vessel (without any of my "stuff" in it), so that HIS work could be fulfilled.
I realized getting out of all the "me, me, me" and what "I need, want, desire" and saying, "I am nothing but what God gives me the strength to do," anything was possible. And to see other BWO missionaries who surrendered to that same place and to watch how each of us working together fully embraced by His Holy Spirit, completely focused on God, being God's hands, feet, voice, heart…there are no words that can encompass how God moved and worked during those mission trips.
These mission trips helped me learn how to view my circumstances, not through the eyes of the world, but from God's perspective. We each have different spiritual gifts that God has blessed us with, but those can only shine when we become less and let Him be more!
My twins are 5 years old and my oldest is 7, and the comprehension that they have of Christ's love has come through the pictures and the letters from the people I have met on these mission trips. They love to hear how God works in my time away from them, and God shows them who He is through these experiences He has blessed me with. They love to hear the stories of how God helped save a young boy or girl who was their age. God has blessed me with this opportunity to teach my children what it truly means to follow Him, to surrender, and to experience His love more fully. That I can have this opportunity to show this to my kids is a blessing that I never even thought possible. And from this experience, my children also grow closer to the heart of God.
I am so thankful that BWO has given me this opportunity to go on these mission trips. Not only has it helped me to step out on the waters of faith and walk where God calls, but it has brought me so much closer to God's heart. I kept praying and hoping that I would a blessing to someone else, but in the end, I am the one who is so blessed by these people who God has placed in my path. So blessed!
If you would like someone to talk to about missions or maybe just someone to pray with you, please contact me any time! I would love to share my experiences with you and pray with you and encourage you as you follow’s Christ’s great commission to Go and Tell!