Shane Barney, Grace Short-Term Mission Trip Participant
I’ve made it a tradition in our family to take a short-term mission trip with each of my children once they turn 13. This past year, my daughter Grace and I were blessed to be able to travel to Exodo Childrens’ home in El Salvador. While I had been on a few mission trips before, I had never been anywhere like Exodo. The relatively small campus was full of love. You could see it on the faces of the nearly 50 boys and girls ranging in age from 5 to 20. The tías (aunts) provide a loving and compassionate living and learning environment that is special.
Our daughter, Grace, has been involved with local ministries here in Indiana most of her life, so caring for underprivileged and victims of social injustice was not new to her, but spending a week with the children of Exodo changed her life forever. Grace was assigned to work with the “littles” group for the week. It didn’t take long for her to form a special bond with Wendy. Wendy is 11 years old and has been in Exodo for 4 years. When Grace introduced me to Wendy, I was just amazed at how similar the two of them were. It was evident that God had placed Wendy in the path of Grace. Grace and Wendy spent the week talking, playing games, making crafts, praying, worshipping, and just being together. Their relationship didn’t end when we left for home. Grace is now a sponsor of Wendy which means that they are continually connected financially and spiritually. Grace is already looking forward to her return trip next year.
If you have ever thought about or considered taking a short-term mission trip, don’t hesitate! I know that it can be a little intimidating and can take people out of their comfort zone, but I can assure you that you will not regret it. Matthew 6:25-27 assures us that God will make everything well.
Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
I understand, however, that life’s circumstances can prevent some from physically traveling to the mission field. For those, there are still ways to participate and experience God’s grace alongside those traveling. Here are a couple simple ways to get involved.
- Pray. Pray for those traveling and the partner ministries that are being served.
- Give. Give financially to those traveling on a trip in 2018. Nearly 400 Grace Church attenders go on a trip, and all are encouraged to raise financial support.
- Pray some more!
How can you and your family be involved and live out your calling through serving on a trip? To view all the Grace Church Family-Friendly trips, CLICK HERE.