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Mississippi Mission Trip 2009

On my 2009 Mississippi mission trip, I learned that God is so much more than just someone who performed miracles in a book called the Bible. One shouldn’t believe in him just because their family does. One should have faith in Him because He is what they truly believe in their heart. I was a Christian, but I didn’t know what being a Christian really meant.

One day, I was thinking back on how I became a true Christian and my mind wandered back to my church’s mission trip this summer. God was my Savior? How could one man make the universe, perform miracles on a daily basis, and send his one and only son to die on the cross for my sins? How was this possible? I pondered these questions for a while, asking myself over and over again. But, I never got the answers that I needed to understand. I signed up for the mission trip this summer not knowing what I was getting into. I knew that we were building houses for a few families whose house was destroyed in a hurricane, but that was about it.

Right before I got into one of the seven white vans with my church peers, my mom told me, “I bet that you will discover something new about yourself this summer! Have an amazing time!” What I didn’t know was that she was right. Suddenly, I was headed off to Mississippi. We arrived at our destination in Mississippi and stayed in a huge tent, with no air-conditioning whatsoever. The monstrous tent was hot, musty, and very, very dusty. I didn’t know what I was doing there and wasn’t really that excited about being there either. The first night, we walked into an old abandoned school near the tent, where our group was holding the seminars. In the school, we attended a lesson about God. The lesson was actually very interesting, and I loved hearing about the creation of the Earth, but I was still confused about how God’s creation could be possible. I needed to know more about God and what He did. Could God be performing miracles in Mississippi?

On the second day of the mission trip, we started working on the interior of a house that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The main structure of the house was already finished, but we had to put insulation inside the house. If one has never worked with insulation, they might be interested to know that it stings a lot! When everyone found out that we were putting up insulation they all said, “No! It’s so painful, don’t make us put it up!” I kept on hearing this voice inside of my head saying, “What are you doing here? I want to go home!”

That night, I went to take a shower. When I got inside of the shower, there were bright red blotches all over my arms. I screamed because I didn’t know what they were from. I didn’t find out until later that the blotches were from the insulation. I got out of the shower and walked into the old school where everyone was sitting peacefully and quietly. Everyone was listening to the same speaker again. She was telling us about why Jesus died for us. Her lectures were very interesting and they really made me think about Jesus and God. The lady giving the lectures told us that it’s the highway or God’s way. She was saying that if we took the highway, we would be running further, and further away from God. But, if we took God’s way, we would be coming closer and closer to becoming more like Him! I didn’t want to be taking the highway anymore. I wanted to be taking God’s way! I was starting to realize how God worked and how he saved me from my sins. But, I was craving more!

After three days passed, it was now the sixth day on our mission trip. It was the last day that we would be working on the house for this family. We finished putting up insulation and the dry wall that goes in front of it. The inside of the house was now covered with dry wall and ready for use. The family was so thankful that we had helped them rebuild their house. When we said goodbye to them, and they thanked us, you could see the tears rolling down the mom’s face. Not because she was sad, but because she was so happy. The father had a sparkle in his eye, as he tried not to cry. I was very thankful that I was able to help someone who really needed it because it made me feel like I was doing something useful with my gift of helping others. Helping others is much better than just sitting at home lying on the sofa like a couch potato.
That night as we were finishing up our lesson on God, a light bulb suddenly went off in my head. I finally realized who God was, and why I should follow him. God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross to wash away any sins that I have committed. I need to follow God instead of just doing what I wanted to do. I have been raised in a Christian family and always gone to church, but I never really understood why I should believe in God. But now, I had finally realized that God was my Savior and that had a huge impact on my life this summer! I hope to help everyone learn more about God and know why he is their Savior. In the future, I want to be the teacher who was lecturing our youth group this summer. I hope to make a difference in the lives of youth.

My mom was right from the very beginning; I did learn something new about myself this summer. I had a life changing experience on our mission trip. My Christian faith grew from small to huge in a personal way. Even though I thought that putting insulation up in the house was painful, Jesus went through so much more pain than I did. He was tortured and all I had was just red blotches on my arms. And yes, the blotches did hurt for a day or two, but I would rather have blotches, than go through beatings, thorns, and being nailed to the cross. I don’t know how someone could give up their one and only son for me, but Jesus must have loved me and everyone else on this planet more than I can even imagine. God had a purpose for all of us on the trip and I know now why I was supposed to be there; I needed to realize why I am a Christian and to know and learn more about the God that I love. God is amazing and He knew before I did that I was going to become a stronger Christian this summer.





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