I have wanted to be involved with missions on some level ever since I was a little kid. During my homeschooling years, I remember that my family devoted much time to studying different cultures and countries, and reading about missionaries. On my free time, I still like to hide in the library reading books about Europe and India: the places, the people, the customs, the beliefs. Europe is full of secularism and consumerism, and India full of poverty and despair. They are two different sides of a coin, yet both lost. The truth is that I am at last tired of only thinking of these places and their people- there is a sense in my soul that says send me.
There is something about Western Europe in particular that fascinates me. I think of the people groups in this area often- and I’ve considered living in Europe more times than I can say. The spirituality of Western Europe is appalling.. a lack of church attendance hints most greatly at what has gone amiss, yet if you dig deeper, you discover stories about suicide, struggling emigrants, the weight of collapsed and hurting economies, political strains, alcohol addictions, new-age philosophies, and more darkness that covers regions that were metaphorically once-bright lights for Christ with shame at their abandonment of the truth.
Sometime last semester, the desire that I have had for years to ‘eventually’ go on a mission trip began to increase. I even wrote among my goals for the summer, ‘get a passport’ (something I am now in the process of doing). The goal was vague- I didn’t actually have any set in stone intentions to go abroad, yet getting a passport seemed like something I ought to do over the summer, as if anticipating the change that would overcome me later. Then missionaries came to visit my home church. Their stories compelled me. They made me wonder how anyone could withhold going wherever God called them. A third event that furthered my desire to go was that I was a camp counselor for a Christian camp. I can’t say enough what an impact this camp had on me. I was a counselor for only a week, but the experience felt like years. God’s calling can seem so much clearer when distractions are few and time to reflect is great.
I am now looking into going on a mission trip to Western Europe, probably England or Ireland. I don’t expect this to be the only mission trip I will ever go on. In fact, I view it as dipping my feet, if you will- testing the waters that I know will prove deep, and worthwhile to swim. Send me. It is possible that I will end up living in another country at some point in my life, or that I will go back again and again to different parts of the world. I want to live God’s love abroad. I want to be His joy and compassion, His sensitivity and His grace. I want to be His justice and His kindness. Send me.