This summer, I will have the amazing opportunity of serving as an assistant team leader (ATL) for Nicaragua trip with Global Journey. This is the first year College Journey is hosting a trip to Nicaragua. During our trip, our team will be working on a construction site that will serve as a future orphanage and school for children in and around San Rafael. We will be sleeping under the stars, bathing in a river, and playing soccer on the beach! Our team is partnering with a local church in Nicaragua and our focus will be relational evangelism. Tentative dates for the trip are May 18, 2009 to May 28, 2009.
How I became an ATL for the Nicaragua trip is an exciting story. I went with Journey to Cancun, where we partnered with Mexico Missions, last spring break. After my trip, I knew I wanted to go on another mission trip with Journey. I also had the desire to one day be a team leader, but I was unsure of what it took to be chosen for that position. I began praying for the next trip I would go on, that God would show me where He wanted me to go and eventually if He wanted me to serve as a leader, that He would give me the opportunity.
The opportunity presented itself much sooner than I expected. At the beginning of this fall semester, I volunteered at the Lifestream booth with College Journey at the Howdy Fair on campus. There I met Adam Barnett, the new College Journey Missions Pastor. I talked to Adam about my previous trip with Journey and shared my passion to go again this summer. To my surprise, a few weeks later I received an email from Adam asking if I would be interested in leading a trip.
I met with Adam to discuss when and where I had a passion and felt called to go. Because I have been to Mexico three times before, love the culture, and am currently learning Spanish, my heart was to serve in Mexico again or in a Spanish speaking country. I also shared that I wanted to go during the summer to spend more time reaching out to the community. Adam sadly informed me College Journey did not have any summer trips going to Mexico or any other Spanish speaking countries. He encouraged me to continue to pray about my trip, be opened minded to where God would lead me, and think about going somewhere different.
I did just that.
I opened my heart to God and asked Him to direct me where to go. The missions application packet asks applicants to select three locations for their trip and Journey works to place students with the best fit location for them. My three selections were Brazil, the Philippines, and India. I turned in my application and continued to pray.
A few days after turning in my packet, I had a feeling that I was not going to get to go on any of the trips that I had selected. I felt that God was preparing me for something else. I had no idea what, but I knew He was in control and where He would send me would be where I needed to be.
After I waited for what seemed like forever, I finally received the call from Adam. He informed me there had been a little trouble planning our trip. He had placed me with Brian as a leader for the Philippines trip, but had recently found out that trip had fell through. Adam considered what to do and began thinking of where he could send Brian and me. He knew we both spoke some Spanish and knew my heart to serve in a Spanish country. College Journey already had a spring break trip scheduled for Nicaragua. Adam got in touch with the contact family in Nicaragua and asked if he could send another group for a longer trip during the summer. The family happily agreed and our trip was set.
As Adam explained the situation to me over the phone all I could do was smile. God ended up placing me on the type of trip that I originally had wanted to go on. The perfect trip! I get to speak Spanish, share the love of God, and spend time at the beach. I am so thankful for opportunities like this. My heart is to reach out to the world around me and I get to spend part of my summer doing just that!
I want to ask you now for your support. Begin praying for me, Brian, and our team. Missions Emphasis night is THIS Tuesday (Oct 14) and I invite all of you to come and learn more about all the trips College Journey is going on (3 Spring Break; 9 Summer). Pray about giving your time this upcoming year to do what we are called to do as followers of Christ – share God’s love to the nations.
If you are interested in joining my team and going to Nicaragua, please let me know! I would love to talk to you and give you more information. Going on a mission trip is one of the best experiences you will ever have.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8