Monday, December 5, 2011

No Other Name Be Lifted High

You know, there are several things that annoy me. I can't stand people who do things they don't even like just to be cool, techno music, vegan dishes, and the list goes on and on. But there is one thing that I can say without a doubt that actually drives me crazy. Not in a "Oh, that annoys me so much!" but in a "this situation makes me turn into a legitimately crazy person." And that would be when people begin talking about missions trips who have never been on one.

You see, those of you who haven't gone on a trip, you tend to think you get them. You think that they're a "nice thing" to do, very sweet. At best, they want to go on one to have a similar story and experience, and at worst, they think that we're some super human or some self indulgent person who went to make ourselves look good. Sure, often times these people are really genuine, but until they've actually been, they just don't get it.

 I will talk to anyone about missions if they're wanting to go, or are asking what God did. But most of the time, those aren't the questions I get. They wonder how things are with the communication. They wonder how the food was. They think its amazing the kids come up and want to know the missionaries. They wonder about the funding. They find some way to question everything that happens, acting as if the people of Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe were from a different planet, not simply a different country. They seem to forget that they're still people, no matter where or what they call home. All they seem to see is the natural.

I realize that this is very critical, and I've actually had several of these conversations with people considering going on a trip, that I have enjoyed. The reason these questions drive me to the place of insanity is because they put the focus on me, the very last place it should ever be.

I am by no means remarkable. I'm not trying to be humble, its just the plain truth. I have no useful talents, no gifts for languages. Spanish was a struggle for me to pickup, and I lived in Mexico for a year. I didn't know or have a clue what I was doing. My time in Mexico over the last seven years almost entirely consisted of me making goofy faces, doing laundry, making up karate moves with the little boys, and driving like a crazy (By the way, I totally fit in on Mexican roads. Oh yeah!). Nothing I did was remarkable. Looking at it in the natural, I pretty much have wasted loads of time and money, because none of that would make a real difference. But when you're relying entirely on God, trusting in Him, He takes our small, insignificant works, and turn them into something life changing, for them and for me.

So maybe that's why questions like, "Why were the kids so open to you?" drive me to a place of insanity. It's nearly impossible to explain that making faces can lead to life long friendships, emotional healings, and renewed faith. It's hard to explain in words or pictures how God works. And when people point to me as having anything to do with it, they trivialize what actually took place. Miracles took place. God took laundry, and transformed it into something life changing. All I did was go.

Thank you for reading. I know this one may have seemed harsh, but it's something I feel strongly about. Missions are a very important thing, and if you haven't gone on one, I strongly suggest you do (I'd even answer any questions you have about them!). If you don't feel the urge to go, I implore you to support missions. In financial struggles, their support is usually the first to go, and they really are the ones who need it the most. And if that's not an option, keep them in your prayers. Most of all, keep them in your prayers.


  1. I totally get you on this! You know what questions I get the most? "Was it safe?" "Weren't you scared?" Now it just makes me laugh. I don't live my life in fear. Never have, never will.

  2. Right?! It's like, if God called me there, why wouldn't I feel safe? It's safer to go to the middle of a war zone if that's where you're called, than stay in suburbia, because in one you're in God's hand, and in the other, you're by yourself.

    I think its just really hard to grasp unless you've been in that place where you have to rely solely on God.

  3. I have so many friends who had wonderful experiences on their missions, and this is such a great post. Though I'm not a Christian, I think you're right to be a little annoyed with the people who are being self-centered about the experience of traveling to a community where amazing things can be done.

    So glad to have stumbled on your blog from 20SB. I'll definitely be back. :)

  4. Well written Lauren. Only God knows all that He intended when He sent you and you obeyed. I love your funny faces and I love you!

  5. I know you were frustrated when you wrote this but I found it really cute, and I love the message that sometimes all you need is God. :)