When people prepare to go on a mission trip, it can be a pretty big emotional process. There’s all sorts of questions, perhaps the biggest one of all being one many of us can relate to: Have I absolutely lost my mind?
We can think of a million reasons why we shouldn’t go, or why we’re not qualified, or even why it’s a bad idea and a waste of time.
But then there it is. That still, small whisper from the heart of God that’s beckoning us into more. Into risk. Into trust. Into love.
So, we go. We pack our bags and take our shots and print out some phrases in the local language and we board that plane and before we can change our minds out of fear, we’re off.
On this trip to Petén, Guatemala in July 2015, many participants were faced with the startling reality of what life can be like for people in a part of the world that remains as different from industrialized cities and sweet country towns as night is from day.
That, my friends, is what getting out of your comfort zone looks like.
Read this testimony by participant Bronte Lebo…
From the moment I saw the Jungle School, I found myself thinking, “Could I do something like this for the rest of my life?”
The thought was equal parts terrifying and exciting. I love foreign countries, kids, and serving Jesus. But my life was already planned out. I was going to go to a top college, get a degree in journalism, work as a reporter, get married, and raise my kids in a cute suburban home.
I made this very clear to God from the start, saying, “If you’re going to call me to full-time missions, you should probably do it quickly. I’m a senior in college, and I need to make decisions soon!”
I wanted so badly to be the kind of person who could say “yes” to God, but I was so afraid. During a powerful night of worship on Tuesday, everything changed. I found myself singing to God, promising to follow Him wherever He leads, even if it meant giving up everything.
After praying on my own and with leaders, I clearly heard God speak to me for the first time all week.
“I’m not asking you to give up everything. I’m simply asking you to trust me. I’m not asking you to be prepared or ready. I’m simply asking you to be willing to say ‘yes’ to me each day, whether in a big way or small.”
All my life, I’ve said that God has good plans for me and that He will lead me. But it took a trip to the Guatemalan jungle to help me to begin to live like I believe it.
photos from Bronte Lebo