I am very thankful that I went on the 2011 GYC Intermission Trip! It was a blessing to be able to associate with other SDA young people who share the same beliefs and interests and have a desire to help those in need. For me, the trip was filled with learning opportunities, personal reflection and growth, and many fun memories.
I feel that the trip was organized and very well-rounded. As participants, we were able to be involved in a variety of ways including the construction project, medical services, children’s programs, and evangelistic meetings (where we preached and helped in other areas as well).
Some organizations conduct mission trips that often focus on one particular area of involvement (e.g. preaching OR construction, etc.), but I feel that it was very effective and valuable that the GYC Leadership chose to mix the areas of service and allow the participants to be involved in a variety of ways. This allowed for variation in the skills and talents that we learned and put to use, as well as provided differing experiences and opportunities for character growth. I really appreciated the approach that was taken, and I think mission trips in the future should include a variety of opportunities and a mixture of projects to provide a well-rounded mission experience.
Things weren’t going the way that I thought they should go.
One of the things that I learned during this mission trip is that God doesn’t always work according to MY expectations.
During our evangelistic meetings, many things were going “wrong” – things were starting late, some areas of the program were disorganized, there were many distractions occurring while the preachers were trying to speak and at times I felt like we were “failing” in our endeavors. Things weren’t going the way that I thought they should go.
Yet, in spite of our weaknesses and lack of expertise in certain areas, the people kept coming each night. At the end of our meetings, there was a call for people to sign up for further Bible study and many individuals responded to continue studying God’s Word. Seeds were planted and will continue to be watered, and someday in heaven we will see the fruit of our labors.
God taught me that He does not have to work in the way that I often think He has to. He has a thousand ways of accomplishing His purposes, and His ways are so much higher than my own (Isaiah 55:8, 9). God humbled me as I realized that what may sometimes seem like failure in human eyes, can turn out to be great success for the Lord. Praise God!