Confessions of a Missions Trip Junkie

Adventurous missions“You have been tagged in 39 new photos….”

Facebook notified me of new pictures displayed online, apparently with my face participating somewhere in the frame. My amazing friends and students of our college ministry were spending their Spring Break serving inner city Dallas, Texas. My husband was leading this missions trip, while I stayed home with the kids. For the first time in several years, I was not elbow deep in soup-kitchen meals, clean-up jobs, and VBS planning. Still, they graciously included my name in all the pictures so I could stay updated and add my investment through prayers.

This is new territory for me. Since Highschool, I have spent many years chasing the next adventure for God’s glory. Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, Bahamas, Africa and many local excursions never satiated my craving for traveling with the gospel in hand. Each trip has broadened my perspective of the world I live in, the God I serve, and the connection between the two. Traveling has helped me shed the shell of American-Christianity. Exploring new cultures provokes a greater understanding of God’s unconditional love, no longer defined by my environment.

But this year, I stayed behind. Disappointment morphed into delight as I saw the same things happening in me during my time at home. I was able to serve my two beautiful babies with the consistency they thrive with. Participating through prayer for the missions’ participants renewed my understanding of God’s work and the power of a petitioning warrior in the background. Even without the exhilaration, rush, and crazy community of traveling on a missions trip, I still experienced God’s grace and supernatural intervention in my life. That week at home, mundane and regular, was still an adventurous discovery of God’s grace:

  • Learning to mirror God’s faithfulness in the small tasks.
  • Grasping that a faithful day at home is not a small thing, but a very very big adventure pieced together by small moments of frailty and trust.
  • Choosing to see that pushing a stroller during a prayer jog is just as deeply motivating and connecting in my walk with God as driving a van full of students to share the gospel on a beach during Spring break.

Final thoughts:

If you haven’t traveled with the gospel in hand, please go! Take advantage of the life changing experience, whether you are 4 or 40 or 84. Glorify God, expand your perspective, and stretch beyond your limits of what you think God can do in and through you.

However, if you, like me, have become so accustomed to mission trip adventures that your new “out of my comfort zone” is now the act of simple faithfulness at home, get on board! Stay home. Pray hard. Rediscover the beauty, power, and spiritual momentum gained from simplistic faithfulness. Don’t use it as an excuse for disobedience or laziness. Rather leverage your calling for deep gospel change, in your own heart first, then for the hearts of those around you.

Be it a bike or surf board, minivan or missionary airplane, the bed of a truck or my own two feet, God bless the vehicle of adventure and may it ever drive me closer to you.
In faith and faithfulness,