Mission Trips are like TV shows. It is pretty much guaranteed that the premiere and the finale of a season are going to be packed with excitement. However, the quality is found in the rest of the episodes. How do the characters interact? Are the stories compelling? Is there a sense of purpose and growth? For Jamaica 2017, those expectations were meet and exceeded.
This trip provided opportunities to make an earthly difference for the deaf school, while building relationships with the kids to open doors for conversations about Christ. The team helped finish a bathroom and storage area for the office building of the CCCD administration. A large amount of painting was completed to prepare the campus for the impending graduation ceremonies. New skills were developed including building frames for cement pillars, some basic welding, and of course the best thing … mixing and pouring concrete.
The deeper impact was made with the children at the school. They taught the team so much about patience, contentment, and joy. To watch how hesitant many on the team were on the first afternoon during play time with the children change to basically having to drag them away from the kids on the last evening is a testament to how much they grew and invested in the students there.
The true impact of a mission trip is not what a member can do. Instead, it is how God reveals Himself by taking their service, expanding it, and allowing a person to see Him in a new and powerful way. I believe this team had that kind of experience. There was not a setback that the team did not believe could not be overcome. Everyone gave their very best and did not accept that a task could not be accomplished. Most of all, they allowed God to work on their hearts and convict, encourage, and challenge them in ways that will continue long after the plane landed at Dulles.
Days will fade into weeks, which will fade into months, and this trip will be become memories and pictures. However, for many of the team, there is a desire that has begun to build that will continue to drive them to serve God here in Glen Burnie, our state, and to the ends of the earth.