A mission trip requires each person to step out of the ordinary, leave the known for the unknown. “Does God really want me to do this? Will God be enough for the unknown,” we wonder? When we step out in obedience and faith, we open ourselves to God-sized surprises.
The Yorktown Baptist medical team had a mission–sharing the love of Christ through medical clinics, and ministries with children. The team included several nurses, but no doctors. How could they assess in a different language, and how would they prescribe medications accurately without a doctor? Dr. Francisco Paredes was up to the challenge. He recruited 4 additional Dominican doctors who spoke English. He divided the group into 5 teams of nurses, doctors and translators. What could be more perfect? With 5 teams there was time to assess and treat medical issues, and also to share Christ and to pray with each patient.
The children’s team had shared the love of Christ with children in many venues. Their concern was, “How can we effectively communicate Jesus’ love for each child when we can’t speak the language?” They prepared colorful cards with their pictures to give each child that stated, “Hemos venido a compartir el amor de Jesus.” (We have come to share the love of Jesus). The team was paired with Valentina, a translator whose passion to share Jesus’ love with children, rivaled their own. Word for word, gesture for gesture, her tone of voice mirrored the presenter. To their surprise, the communication obstacle vanished in the unity of spirit they experienced.
God’s surprises varied from overcoming financial barriers through generous donors to helping a team member find peace in her personal relationship with Christ. Others exclaimed, “I expected to serve others, instead I was the one served. Love was so freely given, it was infectious!” And God surprised during home visits. “The home was so small we sat outside, the only source of light a small candle at the table. We ate and shared our testimonies. The presence of God was so apparent in those moments. I couldn’t believe I was sitting in a different country having an experience like this one.”
When we follow God by faith, He will surprise us by giving more than we hoped for, abundantly more than we could ask or imagine.