“Because I have been given much I too must give”.
July 2015 I was sitting in Hillsong Conference where the theme was “Listen”. There were plenty of moments where we were encouraged to just sit in His presence and listen to His voice. In one service I did just that. My relationship with God was in a stagnant place. I felt incredibly blessed. From family to my career, everything was travelling smoothly although deep down something was missing which left me feeling partially dissatisfied.
I was directed to a vacant seat by a volunteer which just happened to be at the very top of this auditorium that seats 21,000 people. The kind of spot that makes everything beneath you look like a dot. From that morning everything was crazy from the moment I arrived. I remember it all so vividly. Attempting to sign 25+ students in so they could obtain their weekly passes, keeping my cousin entertained who arrived from New Zealand the night before, looking after my nephew who I wanted to have the most incredible experience plus 2 sessions that were mandatory to attend. So you could imagine by 7pm I was mentally and physically drained.
No shoes (Converse hurt me after a while), snotty nose, eyes full of tears and a tired spirit. I sat in my seat and cried and to be quite honest I cried for the whole service. It was right there when I believe I heard God speak to me. Three words that inspired and led me to pursue a mission trip.
“Adventure with Me”.
I was a little taken back and didn’t quite understand then it hit me. I had no right to complain about my dissatisfaction and God’s lack of favour in my life when truth of the matter was I didn’t want anything to change. I was so comfortable living through the motions, not challenging myself or asking for anything that I wanted. So I was left with the impression “You want something different, challenge Me and you’ll see”.
The first thought that came to mind when I heard these words was to embark on a mission trip to Africa. It was something always on my heart so I started looking into it. Due to financial limitations even though I had my mind made up I began looking at mission trips within Australia. As time has gone by I know part of me got caught up with the common idea of travelling to a third world country to volunteer. I am not underestimating the need in these countries but correct if I am wrong when I say we have just as much need here in Australia as anywhere else in the world. Although we are fortunate in many ways, people are still suffering, homeless and going to bed on an empty stomach and they live at the end of your street. So before going internationally it would be my honor to serve in my own backyard first being Australia.
I want to share with you 3 things that my mission trip taught me.
1. If God can use me, He can use you too.
I cannot begin to share with you the guilt I felt prior to my departure. I had spent the 4 days before I boarded my flight either ridiculously drunk or severely hungover. Yes, you read that right. Although once I got into the Aboriginal community of Beswick and saw the faces of the kids who would wrap their precious little arms around me, scream for my attention or pull my arms towards them so I could pick them up I realised that it is not about me and it never is. God sees everything which means on those nights I was in clubs, that didn’t affect His heart towards me and His love did not waver because of my poor choices. I think to often we try to play God ourselves and rule ourselves out from the very thing He is calling us to.
2. Your mission begins at home.
My Bubu (Fijian for grandma) always says to me “Tekevu rawa ena nomu Jerusalemi” meaning before trying to provide the world with your good deeds, begin by honoring those in your home.
I learnt a lesson on authentic serving. The tasks delegated to me both on my mission and in my daily life doesn’t have to be massive that it causes people to see my efforts and praise me for it. Maybe sometimes it’s doing the mundane jobs and serve the people in my household a whole lot better (they would probably testify to that too). If you’re someone who is thinking about doing a mission but don’t know where to start I suggest to first have a look around you. Maybe it’s not your home perhaps it may be your school, your workplace or gym. Look deeper into the eyes of the people in your spheres of influence and make it your mission to do something that causes you to step out of your comfort zone to make a significant impact in somebody else’s life.
3. Breaking out of your comfort zone will never be comfortable.
Sounds cliche but it’s a point to ponder on. We always hear and talk about comfort zones but when did you really do something that caused you to step out of what you know and into the place that is not familiar. If God showed me what I’d see and experience yet alone have to sleep in I probably would have laughed and said ‘Mmm no thank you‘. I will make it very clear. Nothing about my mission was easy but I grew when I chose to put my selfish desires aside.
As I reflect and think of all my precious babies, I am full of undeniable gratitude. Only God knows what changed in their hearts whilst our team was there but it required each of us to step out of their comfort zones and I promise you no one returned home the same. Me included.
Are you someone who has done a mission trip in the past or looking to do one in the future? Either way, I would love to hear from you. Please click on Contact to leave me a line.
Blessings and love,
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