Archive for the ‘ Missions ’ Category

My Missions Trip to Belize

The last few weeks have been hugely busy for me.  So, I haven’t been able to post much.  But, I did want to show you my recent missions trip to Belize (the video is below). We just got back in town last week.  The trip was excellent.  It was a real privilege and pleasure to be able to go to Belize again this year.

Whenever we go on missions trips, we always try to be a blessing to the people, the local church, and especially our missionaries.  On this trip, we built a Sunday School building for the church located at Bullet Tree, we saw the MANNA Feeding Center that we support in the Valley of Peace, and we got a chance to be a blessing to our missionaries.  We really tried to go above and beyond as it relates to being a blessing, but the truth is…we were the one’s who received the bigger blessing.

As I sat down to prepare for our testimony night, I realized that I was blessed in at least 5 ways.  And, I want to share them with you:

1. I was blessed to GO – I wasn’t initially supposed to go, but I’m sure glad god worked it out for me to be a part of this team.

2. I was blessed to GUIDE the team – The team had a varied background (age, ethnicity, and gender), and there were potential health risks (high blood pressure, epilepsy, 4 diabetics, 3 cancer survivors, and 2 over 70 years old).  But, God was gracious, and our team blend was better than I could have asked for.

3. I was blessed to GET TO KNOW our missionaries – I love missionaries! And, I love trying to shower them with blessings. This year, I got to see Dan Weaver nearly every day, and I got to hang out with the Smiths all of the time. We ate practically every meal together. If “hanging out” was a spiritual gift, I’d say I have it because I really like to hang out with missionaries.

4. I was blessed to GIVE so much away – We took stuff from the US to give to our missionaries personally and to their church as well.  Even more exciting was the opportunity to see our team give so generously…many suitcases came home empty because our team just gave so much away…completely unplanned.

5. I was blessed to see GOD work – He kept us safe. He provided what I like to call “mini miracles.” He guided us every step of the way. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen God work, read this and pray this prayer, “Lord, I know that you are working somewhere.  Please guide me to that place where you are already working so that I can rejoice with others when you get the glory.”

And now…here’s the video!

Missions Trip Lessons

So, this past month, I was out of the country on a missions trip in Belize.  We had an amazing time taking part in the ministry of missionary Dan Weaver and building an addition to the MANNA Feeding Center that our church supports there in the Valley of Peace.

While I was away, I learned four key factors that contribute to the experience of a successful trip.  While there are certainly other factors beyond the four that are mentioned here, these four are vital and are the responsibility of each individual team member.  Other factors involving the missionary to be visited and the resources that must be secured are important, but they go beyond the responsibility of the individual team members.  These four keys must be embodied by each team member in order to have the most successful trip possible.

Key #1: Prepare Spiritually
This shouldn’t surprise anyone. But, it deserves first priority here.  We should not expect God to bless when He has been excluded from the preparation for an event.  We must depart on missions having a proper relationship with God.  So, do the tough work

Key #2: Know Your Role
Every team member has an important role to fulfill.  Not everyone has the same role, but everyone has an important role.  You must find yours and embrace it.  Depending on the trip, the roles will vary, but in general you will need a team leader, a driver, a carpenter, a heavy lifter, a techie, a mom, an evangelist (not in the televangelist sense), a problem solver, an encourager, a server, and the list goes on.  God assembles teams with the needs of the team in mind.  Find your role and love it!

Key #3: Watch Your Attitude
Crazy things happen when you leave the country.  Things don’t happen overseas the way that they happen here.  And since you can’t always expect the unexpected, it is incredibly important that the team members watch their attitudes carefully.  Don’t be the person that loses it!  Be part of the solution. Encourage one another.  Have fun. Don’t let bad attitudes ruin the trip.  That’s exactly what the enemy wants. Don’t help the enemy…they’re doing just fine on their own.

Key #4: Remember That It’s About God…Not You!
The purpose of a missions trip is not to advance your agenda or your name and fame.  It’s not a vacation.  It’s not an opportunity for you to add to your “I’ve been there before” list.  It’s about God and advancing His kingdom.  It’s about spreading His name and fame.  That is your task.  Let nothing distract you!

2010 Missions Trip to Belize from Palmetto Avenue Baptist Church on Vimeo.