One of the highlights was the warmth and love given to me by those people with whom I stayed. Even though I stayed with total strangers, there was a wonderful fellowship between us that emerged almost immediately because we had a common bond in Christ. I loved asking people about their salvation testimonies and hearing their stories of God's working in their lives to bring them to Christ. Each story was different, but each story spoke of God's mercy and grace in their lives.
I have been faced with what is really important in life. This has come up over and over and not just when I’m working or staying with one of the pastors or missionaries. Often, it’s just talking and staying with people from the churches and hearing the kind of struggles and problems that they have to face every day.
It amazes me how much of a skewed view of missions we get in the States. Most people would admit that missions is tough, but until you experience the reality of a lack of fundamental churches, you have no idea the toughness of the field. My expectations have been far exceeded. I had no clue that this team would be such a tremendous blessing.
I have gleaned bits of truth from each of the pastors, pastor’s wives, missionaries, and church members. My life will never be the same — this summer will forever be a milestone in my Christian walk.
We had opportunities to encourage the brethren in the Lord, show them that young people can live for the God, give those that are ministering day in and day out a boost of energy and show them that there are people that care to learn what they have to share.
The pastor's heart for the children encouraged me to continue with a refreshed vision of my future teaching career.
Working alongside missionaries and pastors, living in their homes, playing with their children, and hearing of the struggles and victories they are experiencing every day has given me insight and understanding of mission work that cannot be gained through prayer letters or books.
The variety of people, churches, and situations I have been exposed to has taught me not just about God, but also about myself. It has been such an encouragement to see that the Lord can use an inexperienced, yet willing vessel. Probably one of the greatest lessons I have learned from this trip is that there truly is ”joy in serving Jesus!“
This team has made me, for the first time, really take my ministry as a pastor seriously. I learned how I had been playing around too much, it is time to buckle down and get serious about what God has called me to do.
Camp was an amazing tool to see God work and test my skills as a leader and as a friend, helper and encourager. Being in spiritual warfare is good and helps us identify the enemy and help defeat the enemy.
It has been so good for me to be forced out of my comfort zone so many times — speaking, playing my instrument, being in places of leadership. I am amazed when I look back on all the things I’ve done — and done with little or no nervousness! The Lord has really helped me to learn that when He calls me to do something, He’ll be right there to help me through it.
The trip as a whole has broadened my vision on the world. When you spend all your time in one place that is all you know. The experience you get by traveling gives you a much better perspective.
The best part of the team experience was definitely getting to know people. It was a huge blessing to rub elbows with so many Christians in so many places that had the same desires, struggles, and victories that I do.
The training sessions really impacted me. God has given me talents to use for His glory. He has created me just the way that He planned for his purpose. Before I came, I would doubt I could do anything for the Lord. I was always conscious of what others were thinking of me. I was not trusting God. God has given me all that I need to do what He has for me.
Before coming on this team, I saw missions as an opportunity, now it has really become a desire. Whether on the foreign field or not, I want to be involved in reaching others for Christ so I realize that I must start with the area God has placed me in at home.
Cross-cultural ministry demands humility and a sense of humor. You have to be able to laugh at yourself! You really have to be grounded in your own personal convictions (know why you do what you do and if you’re doing it for the right reasons); but you also have to be flexible, willing to change things that aren’t important.
The Lord taught me to realign my priorities. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in my school work and my future. I was allowing myself to be swayed by materialism. I wanted to have my own life, with God as a part of it. The Lord showed me though, that He had to be the center of my life, not just a part.
Ministry is a great joy. There is nothing more exciting than seeing God work in people’s lives.