In a week I’ll be packing up my alloted one suitcase, one carry-on, and purse. A week from tomorrow I will kiss loved ones goodbye and get on a plane to China for the next month.
No, it’s not a mission trip.
I am very sure in my faith and if the opportunity presents itself, you can be certain I’ll share what I believe. My Bible will be with me at all times and read frequently. I will be praying for whatever God’s will is for this trip, and I implore you to do the same.
Overall, I want to travel. The trip is through study abroad, and I’ll get some college credit for going. I know of others also going to China this summer through a campus ministry and that is great. I will admit however that sometimes I feel slight dissonance about being a Christian and going on a trip that does not revolve around missions.
Perhaps it is my own projected apprehension, or maybe there actually is a sense of disappointment among certain circles. Regardless, please know that I have not abandoned my faith, but I have learned a lot from short term mission trips in the past. In my experience, I’ve probably gained more from those trips than the people I helped. Through such experiences I have grown both spiritually and as a person. Short term missions have a definite place and are important, however there is also a point in ones life when you want something more.
I don’t want to spend only a week helping kids that see dozens of church groups a year. In my opinion, mission trips should not be used for travel. While there are people all over the world in need of love, there are several people equally deprived of knowing God’s love here, in the middle of Iowa. You have more than a week to love on them and pour into them. In fact, you can be their friend all the time, not for 10 days. That all being said, I do not think it is wrong to go on mission trips. I understand and believe that some people have a heart for overseas missions. Maybe one day I’ll be in a place in my life to do that long-term. Otherwise, I’d hope live my life as one big mission trip… to nowhere but where I already am.
Hence, my travels will be primarily for educational and personal purposes. I have no doubt that God will have a significant part in everything I do abroad. I am unsure of what will happen or even how much contact I’ll have with those in the states. My goal is to be open to new understanding and to grow in my experiences. You are welcome to follow my journey (as internet availability permits) on my newly created blog. Otherwise, I hope all of you, my fellow blogging friends, have an excellent summer wherever it may be.
Lyrics from See the World by Gomez.