The reason WHY I go on mission trips always has a face for an answer.
It’s never the statistics, although they’re daunting. It’s never the location, although I’ve yet to visit a place that wasn’t beautiful (in its own way). It’s not an excuse to travel. I go on mission trips because of the people waiting for me when I land.
Why am I telling you this? Because I need your help to get there.
Recently (May, 2019) I was accepted to be part of a small team traveling to Hamburg, Germany with the Heart Reach team at Heart of the City Churchin Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. When we land, our team will specifically be ministering to and serving refugees from Syria and Afghanistan.
I lived in the Middle East from 2015-2016 and fell in love with the people. However, sharing my faith was not only illegal, it was dangerous. I learned to say meeting instead of church, and book instead of Bible. This opportunity to share the love of Jesus, in Jesus’ name, to an oppressed people I love, in a free nation is a rare one. When God said, “Go,” I didn’t hesitate to apply.
Now that I’ve been accepted, I’m trusting God to provide the funds for what He’s called me to pursue (2 Corinthians 9:7-12). He provides through His people, so I’m reaching out to my brothers and sisters in the faith to offer any support they desire to give with a glad heart – even if it’s only a dollar.
Since 2012, I’ve been to central America three times, East Asia and the Middle East specifically for the purpose of sharing the love of Jesus in word and deed. Each trip was met with a series of questions, each beginning with the word “why.”
My hope is that by answering some of these “why” questions, you’ll be more informed to better determine if this is how the Lord wants you to steward what He’s entrusted to you.
Here we go!
-- Why are you going to Germany of all places?
There were several opportunities for mission work that surfaced throughout the year, but it was specifically the mission of ministering to Syrian and Afghani refugees in a religiously free country that lit a fire in my heart to go. Also, a couple who are members of the church I attend have spent the last three years establishing a community of believers among refugees, so there is already a rapport and trust established in Hamburg.
-- Why go overseas at all? Why don’t you just do ministry in your own community?
The short answer – I do. My life is ministry. My paying job is home care for a man with advanced Alzheimer’s who was a pastor for more than 40 years. I minister to him and his wife on a daily basis. I also volunteer 20+ hours a week with an equine ministry in my community that serves teen girls/women in recovery and those who have endured trauma. I write blogs about living the Christian life as a woman in word and deed, and I recently finished writing a book about living victoriously in Christ which will be a class I’ll teach in the fall, and a friend and I are starting a single women’s ministry in the community this summer. My desire to travel overseas is part of the Great Commission Jesus gave to His disciples, to go into all nations. It’s also a passion of mine because I love people of all cultures. I love seeing the many faces of Jesus everywhere I go.
-- Why don’t you save up your own funds to go on this mission trip?
At this time, I am! Unfortunately, what I save will not come close to what I need in time to meet the deadline. I donate plasma twice a week and plan to use as much of that money as I can to help toward costs. I didn’t know about the trip until April of 2019 so there wouldn’t have been adequate time to save up the whole cost of the trip. Also, I work part-time so I can volunteer ministry hours in my community, and what I make as a home-care aid is enough to make ends meet and I donate plasma to afford things like a cup of coffee at a drive thru or get a book on Amazon. In the past I would sell personal items to help support costs, but because I live minimally there isn’t much I own that people would pay money to have!
-- Why do you keep going back overseas? Wasn’t the first or second time enough?
Nope! I believe so much in connecting with and bridging cultures and sharing the love of Jesus in word and deed to everyone everywhere, I’m actually pursuing a graduate degree on the subject; a Master’s in Divinity with a focus in Global Studies. I keep going because there’s always a new face, a new heart to love and serve, and I always come back changed for the better. What I experience over there makes me better back home.Why don’t you just move there?I did that! I sold everything and my dog and I moved to the Middle East in 2015 because I fell in love with a man who was leading underground Christian churches there, and I wanted to be part of all that he was doing. That experience taught me a lot. One, of many, lessons was that my heart is for the world – not just one location.
I hope this helps give you a broader perspective of my WHY for going on this mission trip and provide some context to give you your WHY for offering your financial support, or not.
More than anything, I covet your prayers. Not only for financial provision, but also for the unity of the team that’s going, and for our hearts and minds to be prepared for what is to come. We’ll be doing team building exercises and having meetings to discuss what to expect and how to prepare, but your prayers are the most helpful support you can offer.
If you’d like to donate to this mission, simply click on this link, or click on the bar graph below! All those who donate will receive a newsletter with photos, videos and more providing frequent updates to the journey.
“How wonderful it is that no one has to wait, but can start right now to gradually change the world! How wonderful it is that everyone, great and small, can immediately help bring about justice by giving of themselves.” — Anne Frank.