Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend Worship—Meditations from Ethiopia #8—Mission Trip, Why Bother?

“Why spend all that money and go half-way around the world when folks here need help?”

I've had a lot of people ask me why I went on a mission trip.

The answer is both simple and complicated—and it started with God. First and foremost, I felt like God wanted me to go. I felt drawn to people in other countries.  It wasn’t as simple as hearing an audible voice. It was much more like a yearning, deep inside.

The second reason is totally selfish. I felt totally ineffective in my own spiritual life. I was insulated in our culture—sacred and secular. The time had come for me to experience the way the rest of the world lived.

As much as I looked forward to my trip, I was totally unprepared for the results . . . in me . . . my family . . . my community.

I experienced a personal revival. My entire way of looking at life changed and I was deeply moved by how easy and blessed my life was. I experienced—for the first time ever—how truly wealthy we are in America.

I had the unprecedented opportunity to reach out to loved ones in my family and share the love of Jesus in a different way. This resulted in not only a strengthening of my faith, but theirs as well.

Finally I’ve had opportunities to reach out and impact my community.

So was it worth it? Absolutely.

How about you? Have you had the opportunity to experience something similar? How has it affected your life?


  1. Edie, I'm too much a fraidy cat to take the plunge but have done so vicariously thru our son's trip to China in '08. He left the US a not so typical American teen because of all our family has been thru. However, when he came back, he saw our life as relative to what he had seen among the lepers in China. As our days got tougher, he'd often say, "Mom...this isn't so bad. We could be lepers in China." Thank you so much for sharing the depth of your experience as a result of your trip. Perspective is everything, isn't it?

  2. Dear Edie Melson
    Thanks so much for your ALL important imput. Dealing with "to wealthy" church people has become such a hardship. I was recently talking to a "one week missionary" sent by his church to central america. He complained, when he got back here, that the locals down there kept telling him how rich he was. "I kept telling them how broke I really am" he explained. "I told them how I had to borrow the money just to come down here", he went on. So I stopped him there. I mentioned how they had no one to borrow money from for dinner tonight, while you borrow money to fly around the world. HMMMMM!! He got the point. Keep up the great blogs.