SecondIron's Blog

Sharpening Iron to Live Second

We are called to serve all the nations

Jetlagged, weary-eyed, utterly exhausted, yet fulfilled.

This past week I, along with several others returned from a two-week mission trip to Thailand.

Rice farm in the mountains of Thailand

Two weeks filled with culture, new found friendships, sleepless nights, fatigue, joy, and much more.

Although the exotic foods may have unsettled our stomachs or we had strained emotions due to lack of sleep, I cannot wait to return.

I have found that when it comes to mission trips there are a few things to take into consideration.

  1. Things never go as planned – no matter how much you painstakingly plan the agenda. It will change and that is okay, more than okay usually.
  2. Intend to serve, be prepared to be humbled – no matter how you plan to serve others, God shows up and meets you in the faces of those you serve.
  3. Allow your heart to break – broken hearts are God’s pottery. He breaks you, only to mold you into His very own remade masterpiece.
  4. Open yourself up to be vulnerable – every trip had revealed part of my own story. When we allow ourselves to be prayerfully vulnerable, God will show us our story and true mission.
  5. Mission trips are not for everyone – even those that go ‘on a mission’ are not always ready. They focus more on themselves than those they are there to help. Some missionaries are better off taking a vacation.
  6. Allow God’s love to shine – You may be a bitter pill at home. Yet travel to a place where no one knows you. God’s love will shine through you in ways that will forever change the inner you.
  7. Not everyone will understand – family and friends will question “why.” They won’t understand why you would travel to help strangers in some distant place. To them, I can only suggest that they go to understand, otherwise, they never will.
  8. It is never about you – to truly serve others, one must take themselves out of the equation. This means resisting bragging about the ‘good deeds’ you may have done. If your heart is right, the rest will speak for itself.
  9. Just go, even if it scares you – we are asked to go and be disciples. This means going out and carrying out His mission whether in another country or even your own hometown.

I am still recovering from our couple of weeks in Thailand. Both physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

I have new found friends on the other side of this blue ball we call Earth.

I long to return to a place where things are simpler, not necessarily easier, but simpler.

A place where people treat one another kindly, serve each other openly and don’t allow the petty things that we focus on day in and day out even be of concern.

As I have said when I returned from our mission trips to Haiti, and again I am reaffirmed in the belief in Thailand.

It is not about you or your circumstances. It is about taking the opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone and serve another human being as we were created to do.

If you ever considered going on a mission trip whether it be locally or internationally, just go. God will figure out all the rest for you in His time.

About Charles Johnston

Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.

One Reply

  1. Candace H Crosby

    How true, that God is revealed throughout the world. God has always shown kindness to the meek and lowly, and we are all made in His image and likeness. The rest of the world is not so caught up in commercialism as we are in America, and it must be refreshing to interact with humble everyday people. Looking forward to hearing more about the mission trip to Thailand.