Mission trips “can leave lasting impact”

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Emily Cayeye
CONTRIBUTOR

In April I will travel with 30 people from three different congregations to Haiti for seven days. This will be my second mission trip, my first being a 10 day trip to San Salvador, El Salvador.

I’ve been preparing to go on this trip since October 2015. The first step was considering this decision to spread the gospel. After realizing that I was meant to go on this trip I had to try to raise the necessary funds which amounted to $1700. My friends and family faithfully supported me and within 3 months I was fully funded for the trip.

I think these missions are beneficial in the aspect that they provide exposure to other cultures and learning experiences. Then there’s the theological aspect where you are being the “hands and feet” of God.

In 2011, I started attending my church, Southridge, after first going with a friend from high school. I remember the first service I went to was very different from the church I grew up in. The people were very loving and accepting and the message was more about having a relationship with God than following a set of rules. I began to believe in the mission of Southridge Church, which is “live life full.”

In 2014, I went on my first mission trip to El Salvador. The team went through training the first day. The second day we set out to some of the schools and we didn’t really know what to expect. After meeting with the full time missionaries and translators we did programs featuring skits and stories about the bible and Jesus for the children. After the programs were done we were able to hang out with the kids, pray with them, play soccer with them and get to know them and their way of life.

During my time in El Salvador I was introduced to their cultural cuisine which mostly consisted of beans and rice.

The people of that culture left a hole in my heart. There was quite a language barrier but it didn’t stop us from connecting on a deeply emotional level.

Gang activity was really high, and there were armed guards at the schools and some of the students were children of gang members, we had to get permission from the gangs to go into the neighborhoods. Missions such as the one I was a part of helped show these students that there’s more to life than joining a gang and following in the footsteps of their parents and older siblings.

People should take time to consider the impact, as going on a trip like this can rock the foundation of their faith. The things you can witness can leave a lasting impact on your life.
I’ve witnessed a lot of pain but I’ve also witnessed miracles.

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