My Overseas Mission Trip Taught Me About Myself
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Student Life

My Overseas Mission Trip Not Only Taught Me About God, But Also Taught Me About Myself

God can overcome all of our fears.

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Evelyn Weldon

This summer, I went on my first overseas missions trip. I had gone to youth retreats and done plenty of volunteer work before, so I thought I would have an idea of what working in the overseas mission field was like. For this specific trip, my father and I would go and help run a free sports camp and spread the gospel in Montenegro (a small country under Bosnia) called Camp Monty. We would simply aid the coaches in their sports in the mornings and help the English teachers teach English to kids during the afternoons (the main language there is Montenegrin). Doesn't sound too hard, right?

Wrong. By the time I got to the first airport, I realized just how mentally and emotionally unprepared I was. Truth be told, I was terrified. I am afraid of heights, I hate major changes, and I do not know how to work with children. Yet I went on a trip that involved riding in airplanes, going to a country where literally everything is different from the US, and working with children all day. What was I even doing going to another country?

Would my presence there help anyone at all? What if I didn't connect with any of the kids because I had no idea what to do with them, especially with the language barrier? What if the kids didn't want anything to do with me because of my weight? What if I ended up unintentionally saying or doing something that would turn kids away from God or give them the wrong idea about Him? I got scared that my self-doubt would get in the way of me sharing the gospel with those kids.

However, despite all of my fears, my flaws, my lack of skills with children, and my insecurities, God still used me. As it turns out, the kids didn't care that I had no idea how to interact with them or that I didn't look a certain way or even that I didn't speak Montenegrin. They just wanted to learn sports and English and to hang out with the Americans. I realized that God put me in Montenegro for a reason and that I would not be there if He did not intend to use me there. After that realization, it was like something shifted into place. I was suddenly good at working with those kids and really connected with some of the teenage girls, some of whom I follow on social media.

God again proved to me that His ways are indeed higher than my own and that His perfect love casts out fear. Once I shifted my focus to showing God's love to those kids, as opposed to focusing on all the reasons I should not be there at all, my fears did not matter at all. The only thing I was concerned about was sharing the Gospel with people who had no idea that there is a God who loved them enough to sacrifice His son so that they can be free from the bondage of sin. My fears, insecurities, and inadequacies were no longer relevant.

The moral of this story is that God is so much bigger than our struggles. Nothing we say or do can prevent God from accomplishing His will. We sometimes get so caught up in shallow things that we forget who God is and that we are overcomers in Him. God doesn't need you to be perfect to work through you, He just needs you to be willing to follow Him. Once we stop obsessing over our worries and insecurities and put our trust in God, there is no limit to what we can do.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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