5 Reasons Your Next Trip Should Be A Mission Trip
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age – Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)
Eden. Motherland. Cradle of Civilization…I still cannot believe that 1 year ago, I was preparing to take my first trip to Africa. For many years, I, like most African Americans who’d never been there, wondered what the great continent was like. I even wondered about my lineage; scanning photos of various African peoples in search of features that looked like mine. But I also wondered – and could not imagine – what affect finally landing there would have on my life.
I had become frustrated with the pattern my life was starting to follow. I was distracted, overworked, underpaid. The companies I worked for seemed to be prospering: yet, I was not. It was time for a change. God was calling me to use my talents for a higher purpose.
5 REASONS YOUR NEXT TRIP SHOULD BE FOR MISSIONS
As our Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. often says, “We should be as passionate about Africa as the Jews are for Israel”. So when West Angeles’ World Missions team announced last April that their next destination would be Kenya, I was excited; it was my chance to go! Yet, I was conflicted: concerned about the cost, and about whether or not I even had anything to give.
Within seconds of arriving in Kenya on my first mission trip though, I knew it would be the experience of a lifetime.
5 reasons to make your next trip a mission trip:
- God expects us to give. We follow the world’s pattern for our lives. We work hard, not only so that we can meet our basic needs, but also so that we can play hard and consume much. But our consumerism and our insatiable desire for the “things” of the world actually takes away from the earth and from its people. This pattern of living is not God’s best life for us. In God’s Kingdom, however, His pattern for prosperity is just the opposite: His currency is precipitated by giving. His miracles are released when we find it in our hearts to give to others. So, what does this have to do with missions, you ask? When we go forth in purpose; doing as God’s called us to do, He supernaturally gives back to us: in resources, in physical energy, in new friends, in ideas, in dreams, and in power.
- God has called us to speak His word to others throughout the world. Spreading His word and the good news of Jesus Christ is part of our purpose: it’s a mandate from God. Now, you may say that “missions is not for you”, but yeah, sorry: it’s actually for all of us. So if you don’t know how to do it or what to say, just pray; ask God to help you find your own way to do it. He’s called us to play our part in making the world a great place to live.
- God’s people around the world need to see and to know you. What do you imagine when you hear the word “missionary”? Not you? Exactly. Most missionaries don’t look like you and me: or like our children, for that matter. And until we go out into the world on God’s behalf to meet and embrace the people of the world, all they really know about us is whatever the media shows them, if anything. Sassy “housewives”, reality “stars”, self-obsessed entertainers and athletes, criminals: that’s not the truth of who we are. The truth is, we are a dignified people. We are a mighty, unique people. And God gave us all gifts, skills, and testimonies to share what it means to be transformed by Jesus. All of this is given to us to uplift someone else: and that person may just be on the other side of the globe.
- Mission trips open you up to entirely new experiences. Countless studies have been done on the tremendous benefits of travel and of experiencing new cultures: increased intelligence, mental clarity, creativity, longevity, and life skills, to name a few. But when we travel on God’s behalf, He covers us, and He opens doors on our behalf. On my mission trip, every day brought a new set of miracles.
- It will change your life. I experienced and witnessed the tremendous power of God like never before. I returned full of dreams and ideas, refocused and reenergized; my passions reignited. God has called us to think big!
A HEART FOR MISSIONS
The very concept of doing missions fits Jesus’ own life pattern in so many ways. When you walk in your purpose and go out to make disciples of people around the world, God’s blessings and miracles unfold. I had no idea when I embarked upon this journey that I would be the one who would be blessed.