Wednesday, 21 July 2010
This November, I will be embarking on my first mission trip to East London, South Africa. I feel incredibly blessed by the opportunity and I'm very excited! I look forward to growing in my faith, serving God, and leaving the continental United States.
In a meeting, I shared my fervor with a fellow future missionary on this South Africa trip. She smiled and we talked about the wonderful work that God is going to do on the trip. "I hope we get to explore a little bit of East London" I said in conversation. My companion didn't share my sentiments and she explained why.
She believes missionary work is solely a time to serve God and His people. She mentioned a disbelief in going on missionary trips and then doing "sightseeing". I respected her opinion and voiced my own. "I've asked God to let me travel for years. I believe that He is making me a missionary so that I can see the world as well."
My friend and I have completely separate perspectives on the ways to spend "down time" on a service trip. For me, down time could include a minor tour of South Africa, my motherland, a place that I've never been. For her, the time on the trip should be fully committed to work.
In my opinion, my missionary trip serves many purposes. Firstly, I have the unique opportunity to share the Gospel of Christ. Secondly, God answered a prayer that I've been saying forever: "God, please make a way for me to see the world." Honestly, I couldn't afford traveling except through a missionary project I'm guessing.
God works in many multifaceted ways. His ways and thoughts are so much greater than ours. God is flexible in His thinking. I believe that God is using this trip to grow my faith in Him as the Almighty God, Jehovah-Jireh, and the One who answers prayer. If mission trips include "down time", why not explore the wonderful world that God made for us anyway?
How do you think "free time" on missions trips should be used? Do you think God allows us to enjoy our time in other countries as missionaries?