When I was in the third grade, my family decided we would take our first mission trip together to the South American country of Peru. This was a very exciting time for my family and me. My dad encouraged us all to keep a journal while we were overseas, and years later I still have that journal documenting my first mission experience. This is a verbatim quote (misspellings and all) of what I wrote on December 27, 2008:
“When we get their I will be so tired that I will fall in the bed and not even change.”
My little eight-year-old brain thought that not changing out of day clothes to pajamas was living life on the edge. After a week in Peru, we returned and two years later found ourselves on an airplane headed to Honduras. This was a very similar trip with regards to culture, yet my own personal growth with Christ had changed, and I found myself sharing the gospel with others for the very first time. I remember being so excited to finally commit and do what Jesus calls us to do. Once again, three years later I found myself on another plane. Yet, this time it was a much bigger plane as my family and I were traveling to the Middle East. Being such a hostile environment to the gospel, this was a very different and eye opening mission trip. Though we were not able to simply share the gospel, strong relationships were made with people whom we could connect to the long-term missionaries. Finally, I have been able to travel with my church to Nicaragua the past two spring breaks. Those two trips have been the most in depth and challenging trips. Our leaders really pushed the students to take charge sharing the gospel, which dramatically changed the way I live here in Birmingham. My point in writing this is to emphasize and challenge families of all ages to take a mission trip together and see what our God will do. I promise it will be amazing and worth the time and resources.