When I was first approached to go on this trip I declined. Missions was not something that I was interested in . Helen was excited to be going but I had no desire at all. I thought I would just stay home and take care of things on the home front. However, things changed for the team that was scheduled to go. One of the individuals was not able to go on this particular trip. The person who was coordinating everything for the trip approached me again and informed me that there was an opportunity to be part of the team and the airline ticket was all paid for. This time I accepted his offer and something happened to me the moment I said yes. A joy filled my heart as if to tell me I was supposed to go on this particular trip. I have never regretted that decision because it changed my life concerning missions. There was an excitement that I experienced and I had not even left Idaho yet.
The time came for departure and this time I was ready to see what God had planned for me. Because it was my first mission trip, I had many thoughts as to what I could expect in Guatemala. When we arrived in Guatemala things seemed a bit strange at first. Getting our baggage was quit a chore. It was not like being in a modern airport in the United States. We finally got our luggage, met our host missionaries then off we went to our venture in Guatemala. We were warmly received by the local pastors and all the wonderful people we had the opportunity to minister to. Needless to say, I received much more than I gave out. I was truly blessed. It was difficult to leave each village to go to the next village because of the relationships we had made with the people. Even though we were there for a brief time, being in the midst of a people who loved God was such a blessing. Although we slept on church floors and pews and sometimes it was a little chilly, there was a joy that filled my heart. When I saw humble people who had nothing in the way of material things but so rich in the spirit, I was so grateful for the brief time we had together. The people were so warm and always greeted us with a friendly smile. They were so appreciative of us coming and graciously accepted all that we had to offer them. When it was time to leave Guatemala, there was a tenderness in my heart and I felt the tears in my eyes as I looked at the beautiful brown skinned people I had to leave. As the airplane lifted off, I looked down on Guatemala City and thought to myself, I shall return! Since that first most memorable mission trip, God has allowed me to return many times to Guatemala. I believe God has placed a love in my heart for the Latin people and particularly those in Guatemala.
I addition to the many mission trips I have made to Guatemala, God has opened the door for me to minister two times in Nigeria at the annual Mission Conference in Abuja. The technology that we have today has also afforded me the opportunity to teach using SKYPE, students at a Bible School in Pakistan. It is wonderful to be involved in missions all over the world. I love to hear the reports from teams as they return home from mission trips. When I listen to first timers tell their stories of their trip and see the change that has taken place in their lives I am reminded of my first mission trip and how God has forever changed my life concerning missions. I believe God has placed hunger in my heart for His Word and the desire to impart to others what He has blessed me with . I believe missions will always be apart my life either home or abroad in reaching, teaching, equipping and encouraging people to step out to be; A GO YE!