Why Go On a Mission Trip?

Martin Flaherty   -  

Why go on a mission trip?

This Sunday, sixty people from Deer Flat Church will leave for a short-term mission trip to serve and bless the community of La Mision, Mexico through a number of local ministries there.  See www.dofo.org or www.strongtowerministries.org or www.openarmsmexico.org or www.sowministries.org or www.ninosdebaja.org or www.siloeclinic.org or www.lifeinthecanyon.com all great ministries loving people towards eternity with Jesus.

Over the past ten years, Deer Flat has created a culture and expectation of taking life changing and impactful mission trips for those who have been able to participate.  Hundreds of people have gone on these trips; many people have signed on to go on trips again and again, year after year because of the difference it makes in their own life and faith.  And regardless of where we go (in recent years, Deer Flat has taken trips to Honduras, Haiti, Mexico, Cuba, Belize, Portland, Los Angeles, and rural Idaho) some elements are always the same.

Short-term mission trips are a unique 7-10 days or so of traveling and living and working.  The trips can be planned up to a point but then they always have an element of unpredictability and bit of adventure as traveling requires flexibility and many things we take for granted in the United States are not consistent in developing countries.  For some people this can be very stress inducing and scary as challenges arise; for others those same challenges can be stress inducing and enjoyable as they seek to overcome them.  The great truth is that whichever one you are at the time (because I have been both) you find yourself having the same spiritual experiences.  You lean into God, drawing close for comfort and help.  You connect yourself more intimately and securely to “The Vine” knowing you can do nothing of value apart from Him.  You set your mind on things above because the earthly and temporary that seem so important at home lose priority when you are on the mission field.

For this week, we live in community often sharing cabins or rooms, we eat in community usually in large mealtimes, we work in community on teams to complete projects, we travel in community in multiple vehicles, we worship in community usually every day or even twice a day.  All of this community requires that we wait for one another, take turns, put others first, make decisions taking in others’ needs, and everything takes longer slowing us down in a healthy way, because now the journey and the people on the journey are more important than our own checklist.  We have to do things differently than if we were traveling, or working, or going on this trip on our own; and it’s life giving.

For this week we spend money and energy to serve those who are serving on the frontlines in missions.  We give and work and make a difference most certainly, but even more certain is the work and difference God does in each of us.

For this week, our lives are disrupted, intentionally, and we start to enjoy that disruption in ways that when we get home we look forward with longing to go on the next “interruption” trip.

So, why go on a mission trip?  Maybe because for one week, you can allow your life to be interrupted by a different reality; a reality that can bring peace through uncertainty, receiving through giving, fruit of the Spirit through community, and new perspective through new experiences.

And if any of that sounds intriguing, please prayerfully consider joining us on a future mission trip.  The next opportunity is in October and you can get more information and register here:  https://fcsmnstry.io/h5/GXpTzDHmW0

May our God bless your week.  Thank you to our amazing church for all their faith in Jesus that encourages, prays for, and makes these mission trips possible!  We are so blessed by you all.

Pastor Martin Flaherty