Mission Trip Trials -
You'll be Sure to Have Them!
Mission trip trials are an unavoidable part of serving the Lord. There are days, circumstances, and situations that we deal with that range from somewhat demanding to downright difficult and hard to accept.
These are the ways Satan tries to discourage us.
We've learned over the past three years that just trying to get to the field to serve can be a real trial.
It seems that whenever we are getting ready for a trip the last few days and hours before leaving are full of problems.
A Sampling of Recent Mission Trip Trials
Here are a few experiences we've had during the recent past:A pipe under the kitchen sink comes apart flooding the whole kitchen. We discover it less than an hour before we must leave for the airport two hours away. When Dennis tries to fix it, he discovers it is a longstanding problem so he has to set everything under the sink on the kitchen counter. We have to leave it that way until we get back from the trip so that the cabinets have a chance to dry out.
Although we follow instructions to the best of our ability, Sherilyn comes down with Montezuma's revenge the last day of the trip.
We are unable to go sightseeing due to her sickness.
The trip home is supposed to take about fifteen hours. But there are problems with one of the planes, and instead of fifteen hours it takes thirty-two. Sherilyn is sick the whole time. (Believe me, that was a difficult Mission trip trial.)
We arrive home the next day around noon with only three hours of sleep or less in the previous twenty-four, and everything from under the kitchen sink is still sitting on the counter to be dealt with, along with all the unpacking.
Sherilyn applies everything she knows about natural cures for intestinal problems, and finally starts feeling better after another two or three days.
Three days before leaving on the next trip, Dennis comes down with the flu. He is sick through the first day of the trip so Sherilyn has to do all the packing. Not surprisingly, several things get left.
We need to travel about nine hundred miles by car before catching our flight, so that we can save five to eight hundred dollars in plane fare.
We are dropped at the airport with our luggage, but when we go to check in, one bag is five pounds over the current weight limit per bag. We weighed it before leaving home, but the scales must have been off. (But, this was only a minor mission trip trial.)
Next we are kneeling on the floor by the check-in counter changing things from one suitcase to another to avoid paying an extra $50 for an overweight bag fee.
We arrive on the field and check our luggage receipt slip, only to discover that apparently the airline has double charged us again for the flight. (Of course we should have checked it when we signed it, but we were too busy juggling stuff between pieces of luggage to notice.)
When we go back to the airport to find out what is going on they explain "the computer just does it that way...they won't really charge you more than the $20 you owe". We hope they are telling the truth!
Dennis finds that no matter how hard he tries, he never seems to have enough, or the right type of tools with him. Every trip we've made so far, he has found himself hunting a tool store to buy a special tool or bit that he has a dozen of back home.
He then ends up leaving tools he's bought with the missionaries because of the cost involved to take them back home.
On every trip we've made, we always seem to end up doing things we hadn't planned on doing.
Sometimes it's hard to do what you do best because the people you are working for don't know what you are able to do.
You spends two to four days winning the missionaries confidence so that they will let you do what truly needs to be done. This often happens because they've had sad experiences with others before you came along.
Many times people go to help who are not totally qualified and they do things that are not quite right. That ends up causing more problems than they've solved.
Why Share Mission Trip Trials?
There are several reasons:1. To be truthful. If we only told you the advantages you'd think mission work was some kind of a vacation. That isn't really so.
2. To be balanced. There are pros and cons to every life experience. Mission trips are no exception.
3. To help you understand our need of prayer. God answers prayer and those who work in missions can never get too much prayer support. Only eternity will reveal how much what missionaries accomplish depends on their prayer support, but we're convinced there is a direct connection.
4. To remind you that mission trips are part of a larger warfare. We are in the Lord's army. Army life is never a vacation. Any soldier can tell you that.
Please don't Read this Page Alone!
We don't share these things to discourage you! Be sure to read
Mission Trip Advantages
Everyone would like to see the Lord give them $3800 in two weeks, but no one wants to need that much money to be able to fulfill a responsibility they've committed to. (That was another recent trial we experienced.) But I mention it here to point out the biggest reason for sharing our trials with you.
Every trial we experience opens our eyes in a new way to how much we need the Lord, and to how entirely capable He is of supplying our every need.
So every mission trip trial we experience is another blessing when we look back and see how the Lord met our need, enabled us to persevere, and delivered us from evil.
Satan is alive and well in our world today, but his defeat is sure. Christ has already conquered him. As we depend on Him, we see Christ's victory worked out in the difficulties, trials, and even heartbreaks that He allows.
As Paul said in Romans "We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us!" But, no one can conquer if there is no enemy.
Every mission trip trial the enemy engineers is another opportunity to see his defeat demonstrated through Christ's deliverance and grace in our lives.
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