Backyard Bible Club - Audra's pick
My first mission trip was 20 plus years ago so many details are a bit fuzzy, but I will never forget sitting with the little children and telling them about Jesus. I was in our church youth group and we traveled from Texas to Missouri. First our choir performed at a local trailer park and then we set up a type of Vacation Bible School for the children who lived there. There were games and fun, but my job was to share the gospel with a small group of children. I honestly don't remember if any decisions were made by the children, but I do know this trip made such an impact on me as a youth and helped point my heart toward sharing Jesus with others.
China - Laura's pick
My husband and I went with a team to China almost a year ago to the day. We have been on many mission trips over the years, but this one was different than any we had ever been on. As we traveled to a remote village in southern China, we worked with an unreached people group that had never heard the Gospel before. My greatest memory there involved music. Music is my heartbeat, my passion, so how kind of God to use exactly that to reach those we could not communicate clearly with. As I began to sing with some others of our teammates, the music began to draw ladies to us. They asked through our translator what we were singing and we taught those ladies the chorus to "How Great Is Our God". What a beautiful sound to hear our voices joined together singing to our Creator! When then were able to share the love of God with them and it opened such sweet conversation.
Backpacks for African Boys - Rebecca's pick
Oddly enough, my favorite missions memory is not one where I actually went anywhere. Instead, I helped my son realize his dream of going on a foreign mission trip when he and his dad went to Kenya, Africa this past summer. Because of the great cost of the trip, we had to do a fundraiser. As I prayed about ways to raise the money, the Lord gave me a vision in which I could help by using my gift of creativity. For nearly six weeks, we spread the word and watched as the Lord wowed us. With each $25 donation, my boy and I worked together to create a backpack, a brightly colored nylon drawstring bag with John 3:16 impressed on the front in their native Swahili language, for the school boys that he would be visiting. Altogether, we made 240 bags and our anticipation grew with each bag. I'll never forget the text I received while they were in Africa. It said, "The boys absolutely LOVE the bags. They finally have something to call their own. I wish we would have brought 500 more." It was a simple gift produced with such great love. I felt as though a big part of me went along with them.
United in Christ Ministry Worldwide - Tammy's pick
When our children were 5, 9, and 10, we felt the Lord impress upon us the importance of a family mission trip outside of our comfort zone. A dear friend shared about a ministry in TX which traveled into Mexico to work with the poorest of the poor. The pictures they showed us of the children and families touched our hearts, and we prayed for the Lord's confirmation. You see, drug cartels and the local government were fighting for control of the city at the time, so we wanted to be sure this was truly the adventure we wanted to step into with our children. We finally had peace and started planning and anticipating. From the moment we arrived that summer, we sensed a change happening inside of us. Despite the atmosphere in the city, we never felt afraid or concerned for our children's safety. Our hosts were wise and cautious knowing which routes to take and when to leave. We served meals to those who didn't know where their next meal was coming from, handed out bags of necessities to mommas who didn't have a toothbrush or toothpaste or soap for their children, we laughed and played with the children, we wept and prayed with broken-hearted mommas and papas, and built an awning for a church in the middle of a garbage dump. Most of all, we shared about the hope found only in Jesus. It truly was a life-changing experience for each of us and has turned into a highly anticipated annual summer trip.
NIcaragua - Kathy's pick
Since I shared so much from my trip with Operation Christmas Child yesterday, I thought today I would share a mission memory where my family was able to serve together. In September of 1998 I traveled to Nicaragua on a Medical/Dental mission team with a group from our local church. In that group was my Father, Mother and 12 year old son. My mother was in a wheel chair having just been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in July. She could not serve in the dental clinic as she had in the years past. Instead, the Lord placed her under a large shade tree where she sat each day and shared the gospel with those beautiful people. There were many that gave their heart to Jesus that week because of her obedience in obeying the call to serve. My sweet Mom went to be with Jesus five short months later.