Two months from now, I will be venturing on one of the most jarring, challenging, and rewarding trips of my life: My first Vision (mission) Trip.
Why I’ve Never Gone
As a teenager, mission trips didn’t make much sense to me. If I was honest, I knew the draw for me was the potential for a tropical vacation and a unique summer adventure. Anything more or less than that just seemed inconvenient and not worthy of my time (I told ya, I’m being honest!).
Feeling guilty of that, and unable to reconcile my feelings, I ignored global missions. This was also quite convenient, as I’d heard of the challenges that missions trips present. My own anxiety, and even my training as a collegiate athlete, made it easy to justify my non-participation.
Then I started working for a church…
While the church I grew up in had a very godly and prominent focus on missions, it was only when I began working behind the scenes to help, promote, and pray for missionaries, that I finally began to understand. And in that understanding, God stirred my heart.
It’s easy for us frazzled humans to get sucked into our own little worlds. We forget that life isn’t about meeting the next deadline or exceeding the next expectation. Quite simply: We forget the gospel.
We forget that the gospel isn’t magnified by our ability to cram our schedules full or complete 20 YouVersion devotionals. The gospel is magnified in the living. And living like Christ calls us to selfless, compassionate living.
That means we’re also not called to get hyped up to visit a foreign country, “fix” broken infrastructure, and applaud our good deeds with Instagram pics of orphans. We sell ourselves, and God, short when we reduce Christianity to either living in a Christian bubble or completing a one-and-done ten day trip to Africa with a souvenir t-shirt. That’s not God’s heart, and it shouldn’t be ours.
From the outside looking in, I’ve always seen those two sides. And I’ve edged toward comfortable living as a result. But in two months, I’m flying to the crossroads of East Asia and Europe because I’m ready for more.
I’m going to the Caspian region because I want to get outside of the all-consuming, self-leveraging world I am prone to live in. I want to gain a deeper understanding of God’s heart for the nations. I want to live out the gospel.
Rather than calling these opportunities “mission trips,” my church terms them “Vision Trips,” and I love that. See, I’m not going to the Caspian to fix some problem and return to the U.S. unchanged. I’m going in order to absorb the culture, build relationships, encourage our missionaries, and spread the light of Christ in the process.
But–and don’t miss this part–that’s only the beginning. From there, my team will (Lord willing) return with a greater passion for the lost and a deeper trust in God.
I’m ready to be out of control, out of the majority, and out of sorts. I’m ready for God to use me to love others and breathe fresh life into a secular, hopeless nation.
I am blessed to have an incredible team of people who will be supporting me financially and through prayer.
I would be honored if you would join me in this journey by committing to pray daily, from November 1-10. If you are interested, I will add you to my daily email update during the trip. While I will be blogging about my experience later on, these live updates will provide time-sensitive information and ways you can be praying.
Secondly, if you feel led to support my trip financially, you may click the button below. To give, simply click the “2019 Vision Trip – Caspian (Trip 2). If you give financially, I’m just going to assume you want to pray for me too… so I’ll add you to my prayer list unless I hear otherwise! Thank you.