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!