Why is it that we experience God so powerfully on a mission trip? During our NYC mission trip, God really demonstrated that when we lay down our daily distractions and seek Him fully, He will show up in unexpected and even miraculous ways. Stripped of our comfortable surroundings and stretched beyond our comfort zones, we learn to rely solely on the power of God and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This was certainly true in NYC as we depended on the Lord to lead and direct us in every step of the mission. Without God, the entire mission would have failed, and we all knew it.
From the very beginning of the trip, we were shown Who was in control, and it wasn’t us. With a broken-down church van on the way to the airport and an emergency landing half-way into our flight, our trip was off to a very difficult start. But God used it all for His glory. Our team was united in focus and prayer, and we used the opportunity to tell the other passengers on the plane why we were headed to
Once we arrived in
Besides making a lot of bunk beds, we had no real strategy for how the week would work out. The plan was …“We’ll show up and ask God to bring us the people He wants to reach through us.” As much as you try, you can’t really plan for street evangelism and park ministry. What if it rained? What if the people didn’t come? What if no one would listen? We knew it was all in God’s hands. So everyday began with earnest petitions to our Heavenly Father to use us. We begged for opportunities and receptive hearts. We plead for salvation for those in the neighborhood. We boldly asked for eternal fruit in the lives of those we would encounter. We ended each night with prayers again, asking for more grace for the next day.
So how did the trip work out? Well, only God can see what goes on at the heart level, but I believe He answered our prayers in the affirmative. Besides blessing the church with 21 sets of beautiful bunk beds, we were able to bless the neighborhood with the love of Jesus Christ. Many children heard the Gospel as explained through the Wordless Book in our VBS at the park. Their parents heard the Gospel as well and were grateful for the love and attention we showed their children. Many homeless people were blessed through our prayers and the connections we made with them as we worked at The Relief Bus. The whole neighborhood was blessed by the food and the preaching of the Gospel at the neighborhood cookout. Everywhere that we went, we looked for and responded to opportunities to share the love of Christ and to share the Gospel of Christ- even on the subways! It was all about glorifying God by serving people who would never repay us.
But as many will tell you, the blessings you receive from serving others far outweighs the cost. We were blessed immeasurably during our week in NYC. We were blessed in the strengthening of our relationships with each other and with our new “family” in
The greatest lesson that I have learned from our NYC mission trip is that I want to live everyday like I am on a mission trip, because we are all on a “mission”. I want to be used by God every day of my life to be a conduit of His love and mercy. I want to reach the lost with the saving Gospel of Christ. Don’t you? Why wait? Ask Him for these things, and He will do it for you just as surely as He did it for us in NYC.
Here's a few documents that may be helpful in preparing for your missions trip. Leaders, please feel free to read, download and print as many copies as you need for you and your team.
(To download a file: right-click the link and choose "Save Target As" from the drop down menu)