Thursday, November 11, 2010

Conversations | Edition Eleven

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Continuing our weekly conversations . . .

The deal: Each Thursday, we announce a question of the week. We seek to ask questions that spark interesting conversations, whether it simply be about books, traditions, spiritual disciplines, more theological matters, or anything related to life in general. You can join in our conversations two ways:
1. Leave a comment with your thoughts!

2. Or, if you prefer, post an answer on your own blog and leave us a link to your post so we can comment and add to the conversation. If you post on your own blog, you are welcome to use the picture above as long as you link back to us somewhere in your post.

This week's question...

Last week Joanna shared about her mission trip to Panama. Now we'd like to hear from you - have you gone on a mission trip before? If you have, let us know what you did, who you went with, and how God used it in your life!

10 comments:

  1. Some of them, depending on how far away you live, only cost $50 or so to enter, but you pay over $600 for transportation.

    Unless it's close, is it really worth it to go on a missions trip? Maybe Haïti and other places can be an exception. I'd like to hear some feedback.

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  2. I've gone on two mission trips to Denver with my youth group the past two summers. The first time was amazing; it impacted us all so much, changed our lives. The second one was HARD. We expected it to be as good as the first, but I think God was teaching us to persevere and endure, and showing us that even during the disappointing and difficult times we needed to give our all, even if all we felt was discouragement. So, in the end, they were both great! Missions is what I want to do with my life, so trips like these are great to go on as I get ready to go.

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  3. I spent all summer in the Middle East. The family I stayed with had six little boys. I spent most of my time helping out with them. It was a really great experience.

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  4. I've been to Vietnam for a mission exposure/prayer walk. It spanned two weeks.

    I asked God to help cultivate in me a passion, a broken heart, for the lost. He gave with abandon. =)

    I was with 4 of my youth friends, and 3 adults. It was amazing, and upon returning, I wanted everyone in my youth ministry to experience something like that.

    It's like seeing a totally different side of God, a different heartbeat, a stronger and more palpable love.

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  5. Alex,

    You're right - often mission trips cost a lot of money, but you know what I've found over the seven years of missionwork I've done? That God always, always provides the money if He wants you to go.

    For example, back in 2004, I prayed for that if He wanted me to go to Romania (which cost a lot more than $600 just for the transportation), He'd have to provide all the money. I was a young teen who thought it was a lot of money ($2,000), perhaps too much for my Heavenly Father. So I told Him He'd have to do it, because I couldn't. He provided!

    I've heard some people say that since it costs so much, you shouldn't go but just send the money. Now I certainly agree that it's great to give money to worthy causes, but after personally talking with many dedicated missionaries, they've all told me the following:

    Money is great, but coming is even better, because it shows the natives that you care enough to travel 6,000 miles, that you care enough to come sit on their rickety chair or risk disease - because you want to bring Jesus to them.

    I'd encourage you, Alex, and all our other Brothers and Sisters in Christ, to pray about serving on a mission trip. I know of many children and adults who are eager to hear that Someone loves them!

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  6. I've gone to an orphanage called Rancho de Sus Ninos twice for a week. Both times have been absolutely amazing. It did cost about $600. The first time my family went, and my parents did all the fundraising. This past year, I wrote my own letter and God gave me so much more than I needed.
    As for the trips themselves, they involved doing manual labor (mixing concrete, digging ditches) in the mornings, then interactive ministry in the afternoons. It was definitely worth it to see how loving the people at Rancho are. Every mission trip I've been on (3) has been something where I've gone expecting to serve, and ended up being served through the love of the people there. My second mission trip, to City Impact in a nearby city, was actually a big part of my realizing I wanted to really follow Christ. I've had experiences where the people I meet are full of love that spending time with them is just the most wonderful thing. Especially the little kids. I think God's used these trips to show me how people love him, so that I can learn from them.

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  7. I've been on 2 missions trips. One to a very large city near where I live (one week) and the other was to Haiti (for two months). Thought both had an impact on my life spiritually, Haiti definitely had more of an impact for two reasons. 1) I already knew the missionary family before I went. 2) I stayed 8 times longer! By knowing the family better and staying longer, I had much more time to understand their ministry and be able to see where I could help! Two years later, my dream is still the same: to spend my life assisting missionary families in their ministries. My past experience has shown me where I can help. Right now, the Lord is preparing me for a lifetime of service. The hardest part is to get up everyday and do what I know He wants me to do today, however, I know that God is using even these seemingly mundane and unimportant struggles to prepare me for what He has ahead.

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  8. Everyone, thanks for sharing your stories! I'd love to travel to spread the good news one day! But, God's been teaching me to be a 'missionary' wherever I'm at. One of the most exciting ministry ventures I took part in was in Los Angeles for a children's summer ministry. So many parents, not even Christians, would just deposit their children there so they wouldn't have to put up with them all Summer. I really felt for so many of these miserable kids, many with miserable lives. But- I knew that I knew Something that could alter all that! And being able to share that with them- to talk about God and Church, over crafts and things, to sing God's praises with them and watch their eyes light up as a spiritual truth hit home- it was marvelous. And the volunteers and the kids joined to raise money for foreign missionaries too- and we raised quite a bit!
    Even this little venture was difficult, though. I was surrounded by volunteers that I didn't really fit in with, and they seemed to think I was too... 'goody goody'. It was sometimes hectic, often messy, often smotheringly hot and busy. But I wouldn't trade that memory for anything. It was learning to share the love of Christ in any circumstance, it was watching him work good things out of all sorts of bad things, whenever I put my trust in Him. There were times when things were crazy, and even when I desperately wanted to act like the other volunteering teens and maybe stop being so uptight about my language and lack of flirting- just to fit in. But I learned to stay rooted in Him- in every circumstance, and it was every time, perfectly worth while.
    So that's my little 'mission trip' story. But - I saw God take all those little steps, and do ultimately, very big things!

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  9. I just recently got back from participating in Eight Days of Hope VII, Nashville, TN. It was an awesome experience, and I'd love to do it again! 8DOH is a Christian organization in which volunteers from around the U.S. help rebuild homes destroyed from natural disasters. It actually started from Katrina with a few people, and now more than 1000 volunteers participate! The results from this past week were 115 homes finished, without any money! All tools were donated, and we used over 1 million dollars in tools! Also, no job is too small. You can help feed the volunteers, or clean the church at which every one is staying. There are jobs at construction sites, where you can do electrical work or tile a floor.
    This would be the first missions trip I've been on, and I'd love to visit Peru this coming summer! :)

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  10. Sorry to bump this, but a good example of this is Kendall Ciesemier.

    See KidsCaring4Kids.org and Dance4Lifesong.org for examples of her projects.

    (I wish there was a way to be notified by email when I have a reply for my comment. Disqus Comments has this.)

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