I’ve been to Trinidad & Tobago eleven times–but this trip was far different from the other trips. Rather than it being an extra mission trip added on to my life, this trip was part of the mission that already existed in my life.
Let me explain.
The first few trips to Trinidad & Tobago were idyllic. This was the land of my first international missions trip, stepping out on faith for the glory of God. At least, I think it was. Looking back, I wondered if the missions trips were for the glory of God or more for me. Maybe both. Either way, every part of being in Trinidad taught me a bit more about myself that I would have learned otherwise.
And for good reason.
During one of our devotional times with the team… oh, have you met our team?
Every morning, we would gather around the table in the dining area at Mt. Beulah Church in Point Fortin, read a daily card from a dear lady in our church, share our takeaways from the previous day, and leave with a devotional. With missions trip, you find yourself in an interesting dynamic. No family, no job, no school, no anything of ‘regular life’ with which to concern yourself–you’re there for one task: to plant as many gospel seeds as you can.
The danger is, coming back and having to deal with real life, surrounded by folks who don’t ‘get’ what you encountered, don’t ‘get’ how God dealt with you. Church services seem more worthwhile and ‘spiritual’ that you may find at your home church.
But are the church services different? Is anything else really different? Yes. We are. It’s amazing when you have a week on-mission, relying on Christ in everything, praying for opportunities, asking the Spirit for strength to (in our case) stand before Trinidadian children in a school to share with them some about our culture but mostly about our hope in Jesus–those worship services become more and more alive! You see how desperately you need those times for strengthening and challenging. The Word becomes our food!
The goal is to see all of life as mission. My home is my mission field to help strengthen everyone and plant gospel seeds for them to bloom and grow so my children will grow up to be godly men and women. My interactions at all points in my neighborhood are fueled by mission. When you go to work or school, mission! Hopeful, joyful disciples who believe Jesus is enough! Mission!
For me, gone are the idyllic days of going to Trinidad and everything being ‘magical.’ Now, I see that Trinidad was just another stop in the ‘as you go’ part of the Great Commission. God opened gospel doors there as He is here. The difference so often is that on mission trips, we walk through them carefully and prayerfully.
Will we do so here where we live?