And do not be afraid . . .

On July 21, a group from First Reformed Church flew to Oaxaca, Mexico for a mission trip; for some of us this was our first mission trip ever! I think that’s pretty exciting. The days preceding our departure were filled with anxiousness, nervousness and hope.

When I was first asked to write a blog post on mission trips I was questioning how qualified I was. I’ve only been to Montana for a mission trip which, obviously, is not out of country.  Even so, that mission trip was incredible.  I was fortunate enough to be able to go with some of my closest friends and we met some great people while we performed God’s work.

As the 21st got closer, I found myself asking more and more questions. Will this trip be at all similar to the Montana trip? Will I get sick? Can I remember the Spanish that I need? How hard will it be to communicate? Can I stand the heat? And most importantly, will there be wifi? (Of course I’m joking about that last one… sort of.)

All of these thoughts and more filled my head, making me question my choice to participate on the trip and take a leap into the unknown. I believe this is natural for anyone who’s about to embark on an incredible adventure such as this.

About the same time my worries began, the mission trip meetings started. Every Wednesday night we would meet in the conference room and at the first meeting we were able to talk about our concerns. Taking time to converse with my family in Christ really opened my eyes. I decided that the best thing for me was to go into this headfirst with no expectations. The more I got to know everybody, the more comfortable with my decision to go to Mexico I became.

There are a lot of worries accompanied with travel, that’s for sure. But how would I really be able to give my time to others if it’s spent worrying about inconveniences or things that might go wrong? Part of my problem is that I’m a perfectionist. I want everything to be under control, more specifically my control. I’m beginning to understand that this trip might not turn out how I expect. And now we come full circle, back to having no expectations! Giving my time and releasing my mind to God will allow me to work to the best of my ability on this trip.

A lot of you might be thinking, “Well, of course it will be unpredictable, this is a mission trip for heaven’s sakes,” and rightly so. However, while I have discovered this in the context of traveling to a foreign country, it’s nice to be reminded that this concept can be applied anywhere in one’s life; laying your worries on the Lord and accepting his plans and peace to steady you.

Olivia Waite
Oaxaca Mission Team 2017

“Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

“For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “ ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 13:47