Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My First Mission Trip - Following God Despite My Circumstances

All my life, I have felt called to go on a mission. For many years I thought, “Lord. What do I have to offer?” As I entered my mid-twenties my thoughts changed to, “OK. This could be possible Lord, but I still do not know what I could offer to a mission trip.” After I had children, I began to feel like I needed to find a mission trip. Then I would think going on a mission should wait until the kids are older. A year ago I started to attend Grace Life Community Church. A few months later was missions’ month, Michael Gaitande stands up and says “If you think you can’t go on a mission trip because you have kids…” OK. I hear you Lord. Missions do not have to wait.

This year God has stretched me in ways I would never have imagined. My husband, Paul, and I discussed the idea of taking the kids on a mission trip to Honduras. We attended the informational meeting. Paul wasn’t sure about going, but he seemed to be a little open to it. I discussed it with the kids, explaining that we would go to another country and help the children learn about God. A few weeks later, Paul told me he was done with our marriage. At that point I had given up going to Honduras this year.

During the first month after Paul had left, Ryan came up to me and out of nowhere asks “When are we going to the other country to help the children?” At that very moment I remember thinking “Yes Lord. You have my attention.” The next Honduras meeting was a few days away during connect group and deposits were due. I told Ryan that I would discuss it with his father. I prayed to God to make this possible if this was his will.

I had been unable to discuss this with Paul before the meeting, so I attended connect group. I was not really able to focus during connect group. I felt like I was not in the right place. So I left half way through to join the Honduras meeting. I apologized for being late and explained what had happened. Emily said it would be fine if I could get the deposit to her before the end of the week.

I spoke to Paul a few days later. Paul agreed that we could use some money from our tax refund to cover the expense of Ryan and I going to Honduras. I sent out emails asking for monetary support and/or prayers. God provided through many wonderful people just over the amount we needed to cover our mission expenses. Over $400 came in the day before I left!

Honduras was an amazing experience! Not once did I feel afraid or like I shouldn’t be there. It was Ryan’s and my first time out of the country. We were exposed to so many new people and customs. I still wasn’t sure what I had to offer, but I dove in and helped where ever I could trusting God would keep putting me where I needed to be. We got to know our wonderful team and the missionaries there better. I handed out stickers to people young and old and enjoyed the smile it brought to their faces. Grown men when they saw other adults had stickers, started asking for them and bringing the other men to me whom I had missed. I held babies and talked in my limited Spanish to the moms. It showed me that I remembered more Spanish than I thought. Despite my terrible fear of heights, I prayed for courage and zip lined over a waterfall. I can’t even describe the wonder of looking at this beautiful waterfall from a zip line. Meanwhile, Ryan played with the babies he came across. Ryan also saw behavior that desperation brings out in people. He remarked on things that were different from home. All and all it was a big growing experience that God provided for both of us. In learning to trust God, I have never felt more at peace and full of life.

Lesson learned: Trust in God. He knows what he is doing. :)


  1. Karen, what a great testimony of faith and trust and being willing to listen for God's still small voice. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Thanks for sharing your journey....I've been out of the loop lately, but I am so glad you and Ryan got to go. It really is a life changing experience.