My Recent Missions Trip

You may have heard me mention this on the latest Bookworm podcast, but I recently went on a missions trip to Costa Rica. It was the first time I’ve been out of the US, and I was pretty nervous about going. I had been on the fence about it for a long time and actually didn’t make the decision to go until the last minute (but that’s another story for another time). But I wanted to share a couple of things that really impacted me during my trip:

  1. We have so much. We did work with a couple different ministries while we down in Costa Rica, some of which served people who were below the poverty level. Poverty level in the U.S. does NOT equal poverty level in Costa Rica. We went to one area in the mountains where there were about 6 families (and 40 kids) who each had a room about 6x8 to live in. And they had it better than a lot of others in the area because they at least had a roof over their heads.
  2. We know so much. A couple of days we did street evangelism, and many of the people we talked to knew nothing about God or the Bible. In the past, I’ve been intimidated to share my faith because I was afraid I wouldn’t have all the answers. But the truth is that you don’t need to have everything figured out in order to share your faith. You just need to be willing to share what you do know.
  3. Love is a universal language. When we were doing evangelism through an interpreter, I was surprised at how open people were to talking about Jesus when we started the conversation with “can we pray for you?” The fact that we weren’t from there didn’t matter when we showed an interest in the other person first and what they were going through. It was a great reminder that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

I’m very glad I went and feel that my perspective has been changed forever.

I’m also curious - have you ever gone on an international missions trip? If so, how did it impact you?

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Thank you for sharing about your trip, it sounds like you were inspired and changed from your experiences.

I did some work in Mexico with Habit For Humanity and a youth group I was part of. It was wonderful to interact with the families while we helped them repair the roofs of their homes. We were able to eat with them 3 times during our trip. While there were language barriers we were able to communicate though sharing our time.

My wife is now in India, from what I have heard so far she will be changed forever too.

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I’ve been on a few international mission trips and a few stateside, but in drastically different cultures. I reference those on a weekly basis and tend to recall them when making decisions about how to help the world at large. I highly recommend them to anyone on the fence. The intent is usually to help others, which does happen, but I always feel like I’m ministered to more than I minister.

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Mike, that was a great summary of an amazing experience. I haven’t done an international mission. My wife and I support children and elders through an organization where we can act as sponsors. The do have trips to the countries like Costa Rica and elsewhere. I may head out someday but my wife will not due to medical reasons. In reply to your ‘perspective has been changed forever’ I could add that I used to visit dying patients at a hospice that took in persons who had no or little money. While it was not like what you encountered it did impact me realizing how our lives can change quickly, how the caregivers had such wonderful attitudes, and how many of the patients considered themselves fortunate to be in such a ‘home.’ When you leave the comfortable life you lead, even if only for a few hours per week, and honestly see persons in situations very far from your own lifestyle and are open to the presence of God - who will be changed.