How A Mission Trip Changed my Life
Claire Woolsey in Adventure on Mar 29, 2016
Its easy to say your Christian, but actually taking up your cross and living your faith in this world of temptation can be very challenging. This is something I really struggle with, and knew I wanted to change. This past spring break I went on a mission trip to Mexico. Before this trip I was definitely a sideline Catholic; I attended mass on Sundays, but I wasn't living in Christ's example. I was so lost, and was looking for happiness that only Jesus can bring.
Thankfully I did one thing right, and answered God's call to go on mission. I was very nervous about leaving my friends and family to go to a country where I couldn't even speak the language. However, I was immediately blessed with 3 missionary families that stole my heart. It was amazing to see these families immerse their whole life around God. Their faith was so strong, that they gave up everything to serve the Lord in one of the poorest countries in the world. It's no easy job being a missionary, and I got to experience the good and the bad right along with them.
Working hand in hand with the poor, I learned so much about selflessly loving. Instead of being so focused on me all the time, I started serving others with God's love. We sang, laughed at my pitiful Spanish, and prayed together. There was definitely a language barrier, but God's love is universal. I wore simple clothes and ate simple food, yet my heart has never felt so rich.
There was one elderly man that we visited, who lived in a cramped one room house. He had been living in his bed for over a year because his knee was broken, and he couldn't afford to fix it. If he needed something he would crawl into this metal chair and try to scoot towards it. Watching this inhumane suffering really gave me a reality check. How many times do I complain about trivial things when there are people who don't go a moment without pain? God has given me so many blessings that I tend to take for granted. Instead of sharing these blessings with others, I was using them for my own selfish ways. Before this trip I was uncomfortable being around the poor, but God opened my eyes to the beauty of the poor. They suffer just like Christ did, yet their faith still remains strong.
This past week was the closest I've ever actually lived in my faith, and that makes me sad. I've gone to church my whole life, but I haven't really taken my faith much farther than the church parking lot. So that's why I'm challenging you, whether you can go on a mission trip or not, to start living like Jesus. Volunteer your time, donate, or even just quit complaining, and you will notice how much happier your life will be. Going on a mission trip is awesome, but actually living with a missionary heart in the real world is incredible.