Growing up in a Christian household and attending church on a regular basis, I have heard over and over how to live out a "Christian" life by doing good things, loving your neighbor and saying your prayers at night. It wasn't until my freshman year in college that God was calling me to dive deeper into what a relationship with Him actually looked like.
I moved around a lot in my childhood, so my family never got plugged in or connected with the church that we attended in the different states that we lived in. The friends that I did make would tell me about their mission trip that they went on with the youth group at their church and after hearing how fun it was for them made me really want to be able to do that someday. Fast forward to my senior year in high school, my family has been living in Alabama a little over six years, I still haven't been on a mission trip, we have a church that we attend on occasion, but do not really know that many people like we did at the church we attended in my home town.
When I finally graduated high school and came to the University of Southern Mississippi I was ready to embark on the spiritual journey that God had planned for me. I was super excited to be able to have a group of believers over the course of four years at Southern Miss to grow in my faith with, which is something I lacked in high school. I wanted to get connected with a church in Hattiesburg so that I could have a family-like setting outside of my campus life and have a group of friends that were believers to do a bible study with.
After the first few weeks of school and getting a grip of transitioning into the new chapter of my life there was a campus ministry called "CRU," and they were having a meeting that I heard about and wanted to go and check out. The people at the meeting were so welcoming and excited for everyone to be there that it felt like I was supposed to be there too. I continued to go to these weekly meetings and began to meet more people which then lead me into being a part of a freshman girl's bible study. I was learning so much about scripture and even about myself. In the fall, CRU had a Fall Retreat event and I was going to go because this was a small part of what I missed out on in my Christian community growing up. At Fall Retreat is where I heard about the mission trip to New York City CRU was going to go on. I was so excited about this opportunity and my heart was being led to go on this, I prayed for God to guide me on this so that I knew it wasn't just me wanting to go for the fun and social aspects of it. From continuous prayers and talking it out with my family and small group leaders, it was clear that God has a purpose for me going to New York for the mission trip. I started to send out letters to raise support and, in that time, God revealed to me what trusting in him fully looks like. I was scared that I wasn't going to meet that deadline to raise the amount needed, but He provided because He works in other people's hearts for his glory!
Going on that mission trip was such an eye-opening experience for me. I not only got to be a part of what God was doing in that amazing city, but I also found a deeper love for glorifying my heavenly father! In Romans 10:14-15 it states "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
This verse was always popping up when I was praying about whether or not I should go on the mission trip, and it just revealed to me how great God's love for all of us is. There are so many unreached people that have not heard the good news, and it has now become my passion, so if you ever get the chance, or if it is weighing on your heart, there is more than likely a reason for it.