by Jacque Gowing on December 16, 2021
One of my most treasured memories occurred on my first mission trip. I was 15 and sitting in a small village church in Panama. Every morning, the village Grandmas would come to the church and mix cornmeal and water and make tortilla-like rounds on a large, flat stone. This stone was on top of many smaller stones, interspersed with hot charcoal to create a stone cooktop. We were there on a four-week trip over the Summer, so initially their early morning presence among our lifeless, sleeping bodies was not that welcoming. But as they worked, they would quietly hum worship songs. Over the weeks, it became a sweet melody to wake up to, one that 18 years later I can still hear. Those Grandmas are likely with Jesus now and I cannot wait to see them again. Little do they know, but God used them to speak aspects of his calling on my life.
There are two common phrases I hear after a team returns home from a short-term mission trip. “I feel like I was blessed way more than I blessed others” and “It’s hard to reconcile all that we have here and how unhappy we seem to be, yet they have very little, and they seem so happy.” These “ah-hah” moments are powerful and have the chance to be life altering. These are just a few reasons why I love short-term mission trips. God uses these revelations to spark calling.
Why do we participate in short-term mission trips at Timberline? We do it out of an overflow of relationship with missionaries we support. The goal of our trips is to care for the missionary and the national church that missionary works alongside. The icing on the cake is that God only needs a moment to do a transformative work in our lives. So, with every obedient “yes” that occurs when someone chooses to go, we as a Mission’s Office are blessed to see the fruit that blossoms forth from their heart.
Click HERE to explore 2022’s Short-Term Trips and Virtual Mission Trips!
-Jacque Gowing, Mission’s Director