Being Choosy with Mission Trips

I have gone on mission trips in the past.  Pulling away from the distractions of the world is truly a way to grow closer to God!

I was planning on going on a mission trip with our church.  After attending an informational session.  I found out most of the trips are done as a twosome (i.e. husband/wife, parent/child or a whole family).  This organization was looking to send a mission group to China.  Having been to China last fall, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to go back to China not as a tourist but as a believer wanting to serve.  The only issue was sorting out the dates and seeing what group I might be partnered with.  I tried to convince my son to go with me, but due to his need to earn money for college in the fall, he shutdown the negotiating pretty quickly.

After a few emails and an additional meeting with a couple I was to be paired with, I was having doubt that spending two weeks in  a foreign country with near strangers would be a fulfilling experience.  The wife of the potential team seemed to embrace the idea of me being part of their team; unfortunately, her husband did not give a similar vibe.  I realize it may just be his personality, but I was not excited to embark on an experiment where I was separated from my family for two weeks in a foreign country to prove my theory was correct.

This past week I sent an email to the coordinator and the husband/wife team.  I was making them aware I would not be participating.  I was not expecting a “dripping” email response, but I thought they would reply with something.  BUT, they didn’t.  So, I chose not to go on the mission trip and made it look like it was my inability to commit to the trip.  I didn’t say, “I am not going because I really don’t think he wants me there.”

On a parallel project, we were working with a company that coordinates student exchange programs.  When asked what country we were interested in, I said, “China.”  After she told me many Chinese kids are somewhat spoiled due to the one-child policy, I replied, “Whatever country you think would be a good fit.”  This past week, the exchange coordinator informed us they had a nearly perfect student for us—-from China.  She has a sibling, and based on her letter, she seems to be a very well-balanced young lady.  Things should be finalized within a couple of weeks.

So, sometimes you need to go to the mission trip, and maybe sometimes it comes to you!

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