Faith

The mission trip that opened up my heart

Felicia Lee // June 5, 2020, 10:49 pm

CHURCH COMMUNITY THAT OPENED UP MY HEART

In the past, I was a Christian who merely attended church but didn’t have strong faith in God.

In fact, my faith started dwindling when my sister asked me: “Where did God come from?” I started to question my faith from that moment on. 

Why? Because I wasn’t reading the Bible apart from going to church for Bible study. I never opened the Bible on my own. 

Things stayed this way until last year when I went on a mission trip with Cru.

During the trip, I was the only one from my school, while all the other team members were from another school. In my mind it was a very natural divide, which made me feel like the probability of our friendships lasting beyond the trip was really low.

As a result, my fear of opening up to them on the trip was even greater because I could see the friendships ending with the trip. I didn’t want to get hurt when that happened.

Previously, I’ve had people walking away even after I had invested into the friendship. This happened on multiple occasions, which left me feeling like I wasted time and effort in building a friendship that didn’t last.

All these experiences caused me to be tired and fearful. To protect myself from getting hurt, I became more guarded and selective with whom I chose to open up. I also became more sceptical of people who tried to befriend me because I was afraid that they would end up walking away.

Full-time under 30: The mission trip that changed my life

However, the turning point on the trip came when I fell down and sprained my ankle. That made me feel really hopeless, helpless and useless!

I couldn’t even do simple things like walk to the bathroom. It was also difficult because I was in a foreign land far away from home and that led to more frustration as I had to rely on people whom I was not close to. I’ve never liked to rely on people for help, so that was something that I had to learn to deal with. 

As I stayed in the hostel, a lot of things went through my mind. One of those things was my relationship with God. I thought that maybe God felt like an empty Christian like me should not be going on a mission trip. I was also feeling sad because I felt that the people around me were helping me out of charity.

But I soon realised that they weren’t. That really changed me. 

This community expressed God’s heart for me.

My fellow team members showed me God’s heart through their care and concern, even though we were not close at the beginning. I also discovered that they had huge hearts and a great passion for God. Despite their own concerns and doubts about themselves, they didn’t let themselves look away from God.

I felt like this community expressed God’s heart for me through their lives. They made the effort to talk to me even when I couldn’t join them for activities because of my ankle. They encouraged me and reminded me that I wasn’t useless. By being there for me, they made me realise that God was also always beside me.

One of the reasons why I decided to pick up the Bible for myself was because of a conversation I had with my friends on the mission trip. They explained the importance of reading the Bible and why we needed to know more about God. It made me realise that I should put in time and effort to know more about God, rather than simply being satisfied with God knowing about me.

Unpacking the basics: Why and how do we read the Bible?

As I began to read the Bible, I was also reminded why it’s important to share the gospel.

The Bible is more than a book that tells you who God is. It’s God’s way of expressing his love for us – his care goes beyond history. It tells you that even when you feel like you’re alone, there is someone out there who loves you deeply and knows you better than you know yourself.

Sadly not everyone gets to hear about this due to their respective circumstances or the fact that they don’t want to know about God.

When I was younger, I didn’t know what evangelism was about. I thought it was only a choice or gift from God.

But I’ve come to realise that it’s something we should all do because everyone is in need of God. I’ve also learnt that I can share the gospel in different ways to different people.

I may have learnt some things from the trip, but I’m still in the process of being changed. 

I’m currently making an effort to read a verse or two from the Bible every day. The friends that I met on the trip are also still helping to keep me in check by asking how I’m doing and how my walk with God has been.

I’ve become more relaxed and less guarded around them. I’ve also been able to have heart-to-heart conversations without fear. I really appreciate how I found a nice community that goes beyond my church and campus.

At the end of the day, we are all one body in Christ.

THINK + TALK

  1. How guarded are you in your relationships?
  2. How intimate is your relationship with God?
  3. What can you do to know more about God’s heart for you and the world?