I just returned yesterday with a team from an amazing missions trip to the Dominican Republic. This morning as I am getting back to “real life” I am experiencing some typical post missions trip emotions. I learned so much on this trip and had so many amazing experiences. I am so glad to be home but there is a part of me that is sad I can’t somehow continue that experience. Why can’t “real life” be like that all of the time? Why can’t I wake up excited about each new day with a mission and a purpose to honor God and fervently serve everyone around me? How can I somehow bring this trip back with me?
Our main objective as a team was to be a blessing and a help to the orphanage that we served at; however, I know every one that went on this trip was blessed themselves by the kids and the workers there. We each learned something about the world around us and about ourselves.
Personally, going on this trip was like seeing my life through a magnifying glass. It showed areas of growth and sanctification in ways I would have never seen if I hadn’t stepped out in faith. It also showed some really ugly sins that were hidden by my comfortable and self-focused way of living. I simply would not have seen these things if I didn’t have this experience, and I am so grateful for it.
The question I am asking myself today is, how can I bring what I learned back home with me?
Change your perspective
It doesn’t matter where I am on this earth, my goal is the same. To make it my aim to to be well pleasing to God ( 2 Corinthians 5:9). On this trip that goal was constantly on my mind. I’m not exactly sure why it was so different, but it doesn’t really matter. My perspective should be the same here in Ozark, Missouri. There are people in need right here in my community. How am I seeking to reach out to them today? What about classmates, co workers, and family? Do I have the same passion to love and serve them with my time and energy as I did the people in the Dominican Republic? I have to honestly say the answer is no up to this point. Bringing home this missions trip means changing our perspective about how to best use our time and energy to serve and love the people around us.
Remember what you learned
Take some time to reflect on your experience. It probably feels like you will never forget all of the things that happened and all that you learned. Unfortunately, as we get back to our daily routine it will fade away with each passing day. Take the time to write down everything you can remember about your trip. Write down all of the ways that God was faithful to you. Write down what you did, who you met, and everything that God taught you during this time. When you are feeling discouraged or unmotivated, you can read back through this and remember God’s faithfulness to you.
Without a doubt as we are reflecting on our trip, we will recognize some changes that God wants us to make. I think it would be hard for a Christian to take a trip like this and not see some areas of needed growth. What were they for you? Find a Bible verse or section of Scripture that matches up with your area of growth. Write it down. Put it up somewhere visible and meditate on it throughout the day. This is so simple, but so powerful! Then strive to put it into practice in your everyday life. James 1:22 encourages us to not only hear the Word but then to go and be doers of the Word.
Recognize the gift you have been given
For everyone on the Sonrise/BBC team, we have been given a unique gift. No one else got to experience the exact same trip that we did. No other team was made up of the same people that ours was. No other team did the work that we did at the same time and in the same way. We were given an amazing gift and with it we have a huge responsibility. We have the responsibility to make the changes in our lives that we know we need to make. We have the responsibility to love and serve the people around us at the same level and with the same passion that we did in the Dominican Republic. We have the responsibility to bring this trip back with us.