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  • Karli

Experience From a First Time International Mission Trip

Growing up in a Christian household in the United States, the Gospel was presented to me so often as a child. Even after accepting Christ and beginning my relationship with the Lord I would continuously hear the Gospel week after week, often never dwelling on the power and life changing significance the Gospel brought. I believed that God sent his Son Jesus down to Earth to live a perfect life and die an undeserving death on the cross for the sins of the world, and when I put my trust in Jesus and His finished work on the cross my sins were forgiven and I could stand in a right relationship with the Father. It wasn’t until a mission trip to Guatemala sharing the Gospel and praying over families in their homes did the Holy Spirit convict me to show the true life changing power of the Gospel.

During my mission trip in Guatemala with Servant Life, we were able to serve along local missionaries in a local church to share the love of Christ through relational ministry. We served in a feeding program hosted by the local church, home visits, a block party, and even assisting in decorating the church for Easter. This trip allowed us to see first hand God’s heart for the nations and the importance of living out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and making disciples of Jesus Christ.

A disciple of Jesus is someone that is saved by Jesus, changed by Jesus, and sold out to the mission of Jesus. As disciples of Jesus we are called to be like Jesus, and as we grow closer in our relationship with Him, the more like Him we should look. Serving alongside local missionaries I was encouraged to come back home and live a life that mattered, a life aiming to make the name of Jesus known in how I spoke and my actions. In our walk with Jesus as disciples we are to to be both an apprentice of Jesus and an ambassador for Jesus, learning and doing as He did. My mission trip with Servant Life not only allowed me to learn and serve my week of ministry, but became a catalyst for my walk with the Lord and showed me the importance of serving in my community, not just in a foreign country on a mission trip.

My time serving in Guatemala also showed me the power of the Gospel to change someone’s future destination and present situation. I knew that salvation led to a future in Heaven, but I had never witnessed the true power of hope the Gospel brought in someone's current situation. Watching the Lord work through the feeding program, home visits, and block party expanded my worldview, how I see the world around me. It showed me that every moment and conversation matters to God. By putting my “yes” on the table to serve on a mission trip, the Lord used my team to encourage the local missionaries by working side by side with them to advance the Gospel and opened my eyes to see the beauty of worship to the Lord in a different culture and language.

As a 16 year old riding in the back of a chicken bus on the busy streets of Guatemala, I had no idea how God would use that one week to make a lifelong impact in my walk with the Lord and shape my worldview.

- Karli, served in Guatemala

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