Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Reason to Laugh: Sometimes the biggest service is small

Grow Barefoot had the privilege of helping a young woman take her first short-term mission trip recently. Elizabeth’s parents wanted to give her a special gift for her college graduation gift, as most parents do. For this family, a special gift meant a trip to serve in an orphanage in rural Haiti. It may be tropical but it’s a far cry from Cancun, Nassau, or even South Padre Island, Texas.

I caught up with Elizabeth after her trip and asked her to share some thoughts about her trip, life in Haiti, and how the trip impacted her.

The following is her response…

Haiti was my first mission trip. I’d had a desire to go serve at Haiti Home of Hope for several years but the timing never worked out until this year. I was excited to find a wonderful group of people at the last minute. Though I’d never met any of them before this trip, I felt very welcomed into their group. I loved talking and getting to know them over our time together.

I’m a very hands-on person and like to work on projects when I’m with a group. It can be anything ranging from building something to organizing stuff in a room. When we left for Haiti, we had no idea what we were going to be doing and that made me a little bit apprehensive. I like to have a plan and know what is going to happen. When we arrived, Bill and Jennifer told us there weren’t any big projects that needed done at the moment so our main job was to entertain the kids while they were on break from school. We had Bible lessons and craft projects for the kids which they used as decorations for their Christmas party and in their rooms. While to some this may not seem as important as providing people with filtered water or a roof over their heads, it was the need that needed met at this time. I hear parents at home talk about having their kids home on break – usually only 2-3 kids per house. Imagine having 40 kids hanging around, all wanting attention. The real needs may not be the most newsworthy or glorious but we were there to serve others, not ourselves. What good is planning to do all kinds of monstrous projects if that is not where the need lies?

Many people come back from a mission trip with some new insight or this awesome lesson that they’ve learned. I didn’t come back with either of these. What I did come home with was the joy of having served Bill and Jennifer, the kids, and some of the local people. I experienced a different culture and saw the happiness the people receive from a simpler lifestyle. The kids at the orphanage were smiling, laughing, and so excited we were there. The girls asked all day long if we were going to sing and dance with them in the evenings. They loved to do so and no other group had done that with them.

People in America get so caught up that we lose sight of the importance of little things. I loved my trip to Haiti and definitely would like to go back or do something similar in the future.

Elizabeth’s words remind me of the verse, “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me’” (Matthew 25:40). We so often think our service has to be big…and amazing…and professional…and beautiful.

Sometimes service in God’s kingdom is helping a friend take care of her kids. Sometimes it’s singing a song with a lonely child. If we do what God calls us to do, then it’s all big, amazing, and beautiful.

No comments:

Post a Comment