In Mitchel’s message to kick off the Going Beyond Your World series he shared the idea that as Christians (and as a church) our heart for the nations isn’t simply just a humanitarian concern, it’s a desire to see all people worship God.
For Stephen Bork, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina, his participation in missions started simply because he wanted to serve, but he soon realized there was much more to it than that. Stephen has been to New Orleans five times with Grace (four as a student, one as a leader), check out his story below:
How did you know God was calling you to go on a short-term mission trip?
I didn’t really realize God was calling me to go on my first trip to New Orleans; I just wanted to go help because I like helping people. But the experience opened my eyes so much that I knew I had to go back the next four years after that.
What was the most memorable experience on your trip?
The most memorable experience on my trip was when Kevin Youngstrom pushed me off a ladder… thanks for listening to the safety advice. Just kidding.
It was really when this past year our flight cancelled home from NOLA was cancelled due to the Ellicott City flood. We ended up having to spend an extra night in New Orleans and then a day in Nashville before we could get home. All of us leaders were stressed out over the money and travel arrangements, but when we told the team we were staying together an extra day, they screamed with joy. It was just amazing to see how well our team came together in just one week.
What was the biggest surprise of your trip?
How much I fell in love with my team, ReachGlobal workers, the homeowners, and God.
How has your short-term missional experience impacted your daily life and/or your faith?
The trips have helped me to look for opportunities where I can actually live out my faith, whether that’s getting lunch with a friend to have a real chat, doing a devotional, or looking for someone who could use an extra hand.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering going on a short-term mission trip?
Go with the flow, it will never go the way you imagine. Let God call the plays, and enjoy the ride.