What first came to mind when you read those words?
When I hear mission trip my mind is immediately filled with little orphans, red dirt roads, and extreme environments. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact places that meet each of those visualizations need help. But for a long while now that is where I have limited my desire. I have been waiting to go share the gospel and experience a third world country first hand.
The Lord is wrecking that definition of mission work within me. He is also rebuilding a far greater and more truth filled definition and desire. I read Matthew 28:19-20 and realize the depth of the word ALL.
I have received the opportunity to go serve in Cambridge, England this summer. Before I accepted and signed up, I talked with a friend and ended the conversation in the way that I most often do.. welp, I’ll pray about it.
Prayer is so so valuable, I should pray for safety. I should pray for strength. I should pray for opportunity. I will pray for funding. I will pray for heart change. I ask for prayer from others. But my comment was an excuse to some extent. A dismissal of a big opportunity. I could pray about it, and if I didn’t absolutely get a shout from God saying yes then I wouldn’t go.
My friend looked at me and asked a bold question, “Why do you feel like you need to pray about something The Lord has already asked us to do?”
I walked away and knew I would be submitting an application for this trip. I would not provide time for the devil and his lies to sneak in and persuade me otherwise. I would not allow time for fear of expenses or inadequacy to creep in. I would not allow for my tunnel vision of missioning to say no, wait for something bigger, harder, more extravagant.
I am letting myself read and know truth. The truth is, we are called to ALL nations. We are called to serve our neighbor. Whether that be a neighboring home, city, state, or country. We are called to move and to make disciples of ALL kind. Mark 15:16 reminds me that I am to go to ALL the world and share the gospel.
Cambridge, England may not be the first place to surface alongside the word mission trip in our minds. Personally, it was probably one of the last places I would think in need of truth and light. But it is a place of great confusion, a place with refugees, a place where many do not identify with a religion, a place where religion might reign over relationship. It is a place that is calling for help, but hidden behind the beauty of the architecture, the label of a developed culture, and historical landmarks that have influenced the modern world.
There are people waiting to be heard. Stories to be told. People to be loved. I am so excited to go serve in England this summer and completely emerge myself in an opportunity so beautiful.
words by Courtney Poos and photo by Kate Bartley