As we encourage families to enjoy worship together and serving together, we delight in stories of family mission trips, whether across the street or overseas. We met a family last year that had the opportunity to send a father, Eric, and his 12-year-old daughter, Maddie, to Haiti on a mission trip with their church. Maddie was going on her first mission trip and has since shared her story with us.
Here are the 3 Lessons Maddie learned on her First Mission Trip:
As I tried to sleep that first night in Haiti, I found it hard to think pleasant thoughts. I had seen many things in that first 24 hours. On my trip the Lord taught me three things: I am selfish, I am surrounded by God and I need to look for God – even in the little things.
As we walked through the market of Thomazeau, Haiti, I realized that I am selfish. I couldn't shake this terrible feeling, and when we gathered for our devotional, I still didn't feel quite right. I prayed for peace and understanding. Luckily, the Lord provides and surpasses all expectations, and I awoke with a feeling of peace knowing that God blessed me, so I could bless others!
The second thing I learned was that I am always surrounded by God. Thursday night during our devotional we sang “Surround Us Lord.” As we prayed, we looked to the sky and noticed a formation of clouds that made a perfect circle right above our heads. In that moment, I knew I could never be alone. As the Lord surrounded me in Haiti, I knew He’d definitely surround me in America.
The third thing I learned was that I should be looking for God even in the little things. When we were in Haiti, we could see God working in incredible ways. We had to ask ourselves, “If God is always moving, why don't we see him in our everyday lives?” A friend mentioned that if we are truly looking for God – in everything – we will find him. God is always present and moving, and if we’re looking, he will show us amazing things!
This was my first international mission trip, but I expect it was just the beginning.