Praying about going on a short-term trip with Grace? It may leave a long-term impact. Here’s David Smart’s story from his trip to Southeast Asia:
How did you know God was calling you to go on a short-term mission trip?
Pastor Mitchel. I did not know anything about the mission trips that year, as I was not planning to go on any. After the deadline to apply for the trip had past, I e-mailed Mitchel asking him a question about dating (so totally unrelated to missions), and, rather than answering my question, he responded by asking if I had considered going on a missions trip to Southeast Asia. Turned out, he had been praying that God would raise up people to go, and, even though I had only met him briefly at a 2nd Sunday Young Adult BBQ once before, my name kept coming to his mind as he prayed. I prayed and thought about it for two weeks, and, although I never could tell if God was telling me to go or not, I finally decided just to go for it.
What was the biggest surprise of your trip?
Waking up to a Muslim college student singing Taylor Swift even though he could not speak English.
How has your short-term mission experience impacted your daily life and/or your faith?
So much that it is hard to give a succinct answer. I now live with a greater appreciation of God and I am more thankful for His blessings. My eyes were opened to the realities of the unreached and of poverty, as I lived in it myself for a short while. Also, I now spend time praying for workers and for Muslims around the world (especially for those I met there) on a daily basis.
As a combined result of my short-term trip to El Salvador this past summer, my girlfriend and I now sponsor a young boy in Southeast Asia as well.
Also, since the trip, God has clearly called me to continue serving Southeast Asia. I do not yet know if that means praying and financially supporting workers there or actually going long-term, but I know God has placed that area on my heart. I am considering going on a similar short-term trip again this year.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering going on a short-term mission trip?
Go! Just do it. I promise that you will not regret it. Even if your physical impact on the people is small, the emotional impact will be big. If nothing else it will change you…and you might just find out that God is calling you to go long-term.