Growing up I knew I wanted to do two things: travel and help people.
I have always loved learning about other cultures. Their intricacies and ideologies. The history of other countries is what shapes everything in one single person. Traveling is the best way to experience this first hand. There is nothing like walking the streets of a place foreign to you, guided by someone that calls that place home. Just as I have favorite spots for eating, sightseeing, shopping, reading, and exploring in my own city, any native to another country will have the same thing.
This has always been one of the coolest things for me to experience in my travels through missions. To go to another country and see people living there, just as I do at “home”, is indescribable. Not because I am naive and believe only people from the United States live a full life, but because we all become caught up in our own worlds that we forget the humanity of those outside our cultural norms.
Helping people outside of your culture changes your perspective on those other cultures. The need could be something completely foreign to you or it could be something you have faced many times. Either way, I can promise you that helping someone that is not so much like you will change you forever.
I come from a family and a church of helpers. More importantly, I come from a God that is always there to help. This desire within me to help caused me to wonder and wander in my late teens and early twenties. I thought of serving in the military, just as many other members of my family had, but that didn’t seem to be what God wanted. I thought of studying political science and becoming a politician in hopes of helping others. That, also, did not seem to be what God wanted.
See, there are many things, jobs, positions, titles, and options that will help someone help others in need. For me, however, I knew I had to forsake everything to pursue what God wanted from my life. Where He thinks I am most useful is doing mission work for Him.
Mission work isn’t about traveling to super cool places and taking a picture at the most famous tourist site. I have been places that never ended up on my social media and I have gone places where I could not afford the time off to go to the tourist sites. The travel isn’t what makes missions amazing, but if you don’t love traveling you will have a hard time spending 20+ days a year in an airport for work. If you don’t love new cultures you will never be able to adapt and connect with the people you are trying to reach. Contrary to popular opinion: missions is not making the world like America; it is making the world like Jesus!
Jesus came to seek and save the lost and that is what my purpose is whether at home or on the field.