After you get home from an incredibly packed trip that involved serving others, you need to take the time to sit down with a cup of coffee and reflect. I have talked with many who have gone on local and global Mission Journeys and these are the reoccurring gems they have gained from being on mission with God.
1. “My world view changed.”
Our world view is how we see ourselves and others. It’s the lens that we look through to evaluate and process our surroundings. Our surroundings may include culture, races, or places. While on a Mission Journey, you begin to see people and places that do not look like you, talk like you, or do things like you would do. You see diversity and differences, and that is okay! Your lenses are changed, and you start to see the people and places through God’s lenses. The Bible says that God so loved the whole, wide world that He gave us Jesus. This is how we know that loving and giving go hand-in-hand—because God did it. When serving others, you begin to have a clearer vision of His whole heart for the whole world.
2. “God is already at work.”
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard people say before a Mission Journey, “I am going to help change those in poverty, lostness, and/or in great need.” Many of us go on these trips thinking that we are going to make a huge difference, and we do, however our focus soon changes from what we can do to what God is already doing. This is recognizable when that one person, who is in total poverty and need, takes your hand and prays for you. You also notice it when a lost soul looks at you and says, “I know there is a God and I’ve asked Him to make Himself known to me—please tell me His name.” We are commanded to go and help others, but the biggest perspective shift is when we realize that God is already working in the places where we are going. All we have to do is to partner with Him through obedience and love others as He does.
3. “I understand more about myself.”
On your Mission Journey, you can allow God to stretch you in ways you couldn’t have imagined. You realize where you can grow and that there are areas in your life that can be surrendered to Him. The boundaries of your comfort zone soon fade as you let go of control. You begin to look at all of humanity as God-created image-bearers and become aware of your continued need for His grace and love, too. Your heart breaks even more for those you serve, and your prayer life takes on a whole new perspective. As you continue to live out the lessons you have learned and your role in God’s great plan, ask Him to reveal more of Himself and show you the areas where you can continue to grow for His glory. He will continue to speak to you when you seek Him with all of your heart.