by Guest Contributor: Preston Pinson
I was blessed with the opportunity to go on my first mission trip the summer after my senior year of high school. My bags were packed, my passport was ready, and my nerves were set on edge. When I stepped off the plane in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, I had no idea what I was in for. The physical, mental, and spiritual preparation that I had gone through did not prepare for the life changing, gut wrenching, and reality checking of an experience that I had.
Seven years later, mission work still plays a vital role in my life. After my experience in Honduras, I was determined to keep finding ways to find God’s love and use it to serve others. My time as a student at Freed-Hardeman provided me not only with chances to be a part of mission teams but to help lead them. I was blessed to be a part of a mission team that traveled to Ensenada, Mexico to work at the City of Children, a children’s home that houses adolescents who are from abusive and broken families and children who have nowhere else to go. For the next two years I was given the opportunity to lead the trip. Was it scary? Yes. Was it stressful at times? Yes. Would I do it again in a heartbeat? Definitely. The leadership skills that I have as a result from those opportunities are something you cannot learn in a standard classroom.
This year I have been blessed with the opportunity to lead a group of 31 students to Managua, Nicaragua. This is a new trip for nearly all of us and we are anxious and excited to see what God has in store for us. There we will be working with The Nicaragua Christian School and El Camino Missions to show God’s love in the form of construction, hosting a Vacation Bible School, and doing hospital visits under the principle that we are there to serve.
It is so easy to miss opportunities to serve. We become comfortable. We become content. We become satisfied. But that is not the state that God wants us in. Our thirst to show love and our hunger to serve should drive us in a way that we can never be fulfilled. Mission work has not taught me that children love toys, other places are poor, or that I make a difference. It has taught me that as a Christian I have an obligation to carry out, a world to influence, and a cross to bear. It is through this that I see that Christ is the one who makes a difference.