In the previous post, you read an abridged version of what generally went down on my mission trip to the Dominican Republic. This blog is specifically about how I was affected personally. I’ll discuss what I was hoping for going into the trip, what happened while there and where I am now. I’ll try to go in order with each of the three sections so it’s easier to follow the progression. We’ll see how it pans out.
What I Was Hoping For Going Into the Trip
* Greater clarity for my future
* Build better relationships with the other Frontline young adults
* Grow in compassion for missions and evangelism
* Reduce my dependence on convenient, comfortable living (i.e. sleeping and food conditions)
* Become a more proficient Spanish speaker
* Grow in greater intimacy with the Lord
What Happened While There
* Greater clarity – I received clear evidence that I speak prophetically in the Spirit and that I hear accurately from the Lord. It was confirmed time and time again that the Lord speaks to me and what I share from Him resonates with other people.
* Better relationships with fellow Frontliners – That definitely happened! I was with the same group of people consistently for 12 days. We shared everything, much like the church of Acts. I had several wonderful conversations with numerous different people. While in the DR, the group of us became a family. I love seeing everyone now. Every time we meet up, it’s like a little reunion. We’ve moved beyond surface friends and entered into endearing family.
* Compassion for missions and evangelism – Walking actively in missions and evangelism for several days in a row makes a person grow in that area. I did grow in compassion naturally. It wasn’t forced and it wasn’t arduous. Because of the Holy Spirit, it was easy to serve together with the rest of the team in these areas. Yes, I got tired sometimes, but I enjoyed all of the evangelistic things we did.
* Convenient, comfortable living – After showering in cold, contaminated water, I slept in my own sweat on a thin, foam mat in a non-air conditioned room. I ate a bunch of strange food. I couldn’t flush my toilet paper. It wasn’t convenient and it wasn’t comfortable. But I did not complain. Rather, I just accepted it for what it was and continued on.
* Spanish speaking – I didn’t know a lot of Spanish before I left. I still don’t know that much. However, it was great to use all the stuff I’d learned in my Spanish classes in a real-time. I am continuing to study Spanish as often as possible. We have lots of Spanish channels on TV. Sometimes I watch the programming. Not the sappy soap operas, though.
* Intimacy with the Lord – Check, check and triple check! My personal time with Jesus was amazing. Our group devos were wonderful. I journaled, worshiped, and…simply…grew. It was great to walk in personal and corporate intimacy with Jesus. Truly awe-inducing.
Where I Am Now
Different. I’m different. I realize how spoiled Americans are. I realize how much money I have even when I feel like I have nothing. I appreciate my pillow top bed immensely. Continuous, hot showers are a celebration. I would go on another mission trip. I don’t feel called to be a full-time foreign missionary. But I do know that I’m constantly on mission with the Spirit wherever I am. I now have better relationship with my Christian brothers. I need a healthy balance of men and women in my community and now I’ve got it.
My perspective has permanently shifted. Thank You, God, for that!
2 thoughts on “Foreign Impressions On My Domestic Life”
It really is amazing the difference that it makes being without the fluffy stuff we have every day here in the States. The appreciation level within you goes up and beyond the average when you experience something like this. You see the quality of life you are blessed with and stand in awe that people survive on so little in life.
When I returned from China, and more so Ethiopia, I would randomly throughout the day start crying because I was so thankful to be home, and joyful that I had so much. That I was so blessed and didn’t even know it. Yes, I thought I was blessed and thought I was more-so thankful for what I had than others, But not to the degree I should have been. And it has stuck with me.
I often want to start a ministry that just takes people who have it so cush and don’t really have a grasp on the goodness in their lives and let them live in the conditions other do so they could come home with a new attitude and a new joy in the simple things of life. To make the fact that there is always someone worse off than you out there, a reality and a realization to the individual. I am sure that most of these missions are doing just that. But so many come home unchanged and un-affected. (which is a heart condition that only God can take care of). But a lot of people need the reality shown to them so they can move on from their comfortable place of complaining. Ok, I wrote a novel. I’m all done now. Thank you for writing Lindsay. :))
Amen to all Karin said… and thanks for sharing your personal thoughts on the trip linds.. I’m glad God worked so profoundly in you during and after the trip. ^_^