Three years ago, I went on my first mission trip to Zirc, Hungary. This trip continues to bless me in so many ways. It made me come to the realization that mission work had totally captivated my heart and led to other trips. It made me fall in love with overseas service and has since opened up so many doors for future opportunities to serve. I’m sharing some journaling I did during this trip that taught me to trust in Jesus no matter the circumstances because He is good. These entries are from our first week where we were teaching English through Bible Stories at a softball camp to children with learning disabilities.
July, 21st, 2015
Today was a very rough and exhausting day. We started off with some games and Bible lessons. After we played softball and ate our usual lunch of soup, we returned back to the makeshift classroom consisting of tiny plastic chairs placed on the outside of a round table. The children would not cooperate in the slightest manner. We attempted to teach the names of animals and do a zoo activity, but they were being difficult about everything we tried to do. They were extremely loud, wouldn’t listen to the translator, and remained completely unfocused. After an hour of struggling to gain their attention, the class time was over. Vivian, Dorothy (our translator), and I all exchanged defeated looks, dismissed the class, and walked outside to the large grassy area where we played softball in the afternoons. We sat down and we prayed. We lifted our anguish to God and gave over all of our frustrations to Him.
July, 22nd, 2015
The atmosphere in the classroom was completely opposite from yesterday. The Bible study went very well. One of the most difficult students even offered to read part of the passage despite struggling with her reading skills. Her attitude totally changed from the day before. God was faithful and every single session of the day went great. They took the prayer requests very seriously and all wrote very personal things. I praise God that they are opening up to us at last. We visited a castle today after class was over. The children bonded with us stronger than they have all week. They were always next to us and kept practicing the English that we had taught them whenever they got the chance. When we were visiting the village near the castle there was a water pump that quickly turned into ammunition for a large water fight. There was laughter, many smiles, and pure joy. God is so good.
This was such an amazing example of how God can turn a situation around after you seek Him first. It’s very easy to get caught up while on a mission trip and try to accomplish so many tasks. Sometimes you end up forgetting the true reason you’re there. We were so focused on having things go our way that we forgot that our number one priority was to show the love of Christ. After we saw what happened when we took all of our worries to Jesus, we began to spend a lot more time in daily prayer and devotionals. Taking that time out of each day to focus on Him made such a difference in our daily activities. We had much more patience, perseverance, and joy. We aren’t meant to carry these burdens ourselves. Jesus died on the cross so we wouldn’t have to. We left our inadequacy at the foot of the cross and started focusing on loving others the way He first loved us.