In October 2015, I attended an interest meeting at my university for a mission trip to the U.K. I left the meeting and immediately called my dad.
“Sooo I’m supposed to go to England,” I said.
I filled out an application and then began to attend training meetings starting in January. Learning more about England and the spiritual darkness there stirred my heart. I couldn’t wait to go!
In late February, we were assigned our teams. Three people on my team had gone to England before and were returning this year. Hearing stories from them and seeing their passion for England only made me more excited to go.
In fact, even before I breathed my first breath of British air, I knew I would be returning the next year as well.
On May 13, 2016, we landed in Manchester and then drove 3 hours to the northeastern city at which we would be serving. The first time I saw the city I fell in love. Before this I didn’t know you could fall in love with a place.
For the next 10 days, my team and I served a local church as well as the community.
We didn’t see much fruit come from our trip. Since England is a first world country, the people there don’t realize that they need anything- that they need Jesus. If it weren’t for the Christians at the local church, our trip would have been very discouraging.
I left England with tears in my eyes. When the airplane landed in Dallas, Texas, I bawled. This was the first time I didn’t look forward to returning to Texas.
England had stopped being a place. It had become the faces of people I had met, and I couldn’t wait to go back to see them.
Immediately, I started counting down the months till May 2017.
As soon as I found out the date we’d be leaving, I entered it into a countdown app and eagerly waited for May 11th to come.
200 more days…
100 more days…
50 more days…
As the days passed I became more and more excited to return to England. I shared my love for England and my beloved northeastern city with everyone I met.
Once I met a girl at my university and started trying to convince her to go on this mission trip before I even learned her name… oops… (We’re going to be living together next school year, so I guess she’s forgiven me for that LOL!)
When January 2017 came and the weekly training meetings resumed, I happily attended and tried to meet everyone who was going this year. I couldn’t wait to find out who would be on my team this year!
Before I knew it, May had arrived and it was time for me to pack my suitcase and make another flight across the ocean to my beloved city.
A nagging thought reoccured through out the year and during the trip itself: “A third year isn’t promised.”
You see, like I said, I knew even before I left Texas the first time in 2016 that God wanted me to return in 2017. However, I was unsure if I would return in 2018. And that thought broke my heart.
I struggled with the thought of “This could be my last time here” the majority of my trip this year. I wanted to be at peace with whatever God had in store for me in relation to England. If He wanted me to return again- Fabulous! If not, I needed to be okay with that too.
Presently, I do believe that I will be returning to that northeastern city someday… I just don’t know when.
Maybe you have a place laid on your heart, like England is on mine.
A place you’ve gone on a mission trip before and long to return to, or a place you’ve never been and want to go.
My encouragement to you is this: Wait and be faithful.
Wait on the Lord
“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” -Psalm 27:14 ESV
One of the girls on my team this year felt the call to England four years ago, yet this was her first trip across the pond.
Hearing her story of how she waited for God to take her to England in His timing is such an encouragement to me. If she’s like me, I’m sure she waited a little impatiently at times. Saying, “God, I know you want me to go there, but when?”
Yet she waited.
She trusted that if God really wanted her to go to England, He would open that door at the correct time. And He did.
So if you’re waiting to return or go for the first time to a particular place that you believe God wants you to go… Wait.
Trust that He will get you there when He wants you there.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” -Luke 16:10 NIV
As you wait to go there, don’t forget to be faithful here.
Your everyday life can be a mission trip. You don’t have to wait until you’re in Nicaragua or Kenya or England to serve the Lord. You can serve Him now wherever you’re at and you can tell people about Him wherever you go.
Related: Missional Living 101
Serve Him here as you wait to serve Him there. Be faithful in the little things.
Our whole lives should be one giant mission trip.
We should point people to Jesus no matter where we are or where we go.
However, sometimes God does lay that one special place on our hearts. If and when He does, we must remember to wait on Him to open that door, and be faithful.