Mission trips for me can be a challenge. It’s not really the combination of long airplane flights, uncomfortable food, or mosquito bites that are the deal breakers; no, the biggest challenges I face actually come from inside of my own heart. When it comes to seeing my value and role on a mission trip, I can become discouraged. I am always caught up in wondering what my role is each time I go on a mission trip. Our team this year consisted of my husband (who loves to preach), my cousin (who was on her very first mission trip), my former teacher (who is a great leader), and me (who is not too sure what her gifts are). When faced with these negative thoughts on this trip, I felt Jesus give peace to my heart as I read the passage found in Romans 12:6-8.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us…If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contribution to the needs of others let him give generously…”
As I pondered this verse, I wondered what my gift and my contribution to the mission trip was. For me, I find the most fulfillment in simply serving. I love to help the people we meet and children we minister to with anything that they need. One day while ministering to a group of children, we passed out colored cross necklaces. Many (if not all) of the necklaces were tangled in an impossible knot when they were given to the children. One by one, the little kids started coming to me to untangle their necklaces. This was a rather tricky and tiring process and some people would have probably been irritated by it, but in all honesty – I loved it! It was at this moment that I realized that simply serving the needs of others was both my gift and my contribution to the mission trip. As Paul so clearly states, I was “contributing to the needs of others” and this gift is just as important as teaching and preaching.
We are all gifted in many different ways and these different giftings are all important no matter how small. I want to encourage you today to find your gifting and use it to the best of your ability. Whether you are a stay at home mom, a businessman, or a college student - decide today to use your gifting to affect your area of influence. Though our gifts may look entirely different than others, we can know that they are given to us by Christ, and because of that, they are priceless. Even untying colored cross necklaces is a gift that God has given to some and I consider myself blessed to be one of them. So don’t forget to let God unveil your gifting in even the most simplest of tasks.