Reflection time. What exactly is a “Mission trip”?
The Troyan family was extremely excited to be going on a Mission trip. Jaylene and Paul to experience something new; Danielle to see her besty; Esther, because she had never done it before. We all hear stories about saving the world, doing God’s work, helping humanity. Now, I will attempt to share our story and reflections on what a mission trip is.
First and foremost you feel the Lord’s hand in everything – the group, your children – when else have you travelled in perfect harmony with 21 people, 11 of them being children? Starting first with hitting customs on a busy Sunday in Cancun Airport – with mass confusion and at least 10 planes landing at once. Once we arrived safely at C-Quest base, we realized that for the next 10 days things would not be the same as Canada and we quickly became immersed in the culture. Thank the Lord for Catherine, Andres, and Isabella (our translators).
Over the next 9 days we realized that running a mission trip is a very tricky business, because you have a group of people, varying ages, which might or might not know each other, and might or might not have complementary strengths, working together to accomplish the same mission. And these traits change with every team, which makes the leaders jobs even trickier. Did I mention that 10 children needed job assignments? Even trickier.
The people here can live with so much less than we can. And the most significant part is that they do! There is so much poverty, and so many people with absolutely nothing! There is no feeling more devastating than when you walk into a seniors home and see they have nothing. However, a little compassion, a little time, a little warmth, a few pancakes, a balloon animal, and a few conversations result in… great BIG SMILES!
Another observation… never discount the power of children. They are so incredibly powerful and can do so much more than we give them credit for. Watching your children grow in their faith and maturity – unbelievable & priceless! When we asked Danielle and Jaylene what they liked most about the mission trip their response was very quick and definitive, “We made them smile,” and “We can help them!” The accuracy of those simple statements are HUGE!
We also felt God’s hand present when the children from the pueblos played with our children. Language was not an issue. They had open hearts and smiles, excited to have something to do.
At Pastor Miguel’s church where services and ministries run out of a small home (my first apartment in University was bigger), we put on a performance and cooked 150 hotdogs. An older, well dressed, very distinguished and respectful looking gentleman came up to Paul and graciously told us how blessed we would be for what we were doing, filling both Paul’s and my heart with his heartfelt and kind words. This was one of Paul’s favorite moments.
The hospital, John 3:16 Camp, construction of Pastor Miguel’s church, Pastor Ricardo’s church construction – 2 chainsaws, machetes, and a junior pastor climbing up a huge tree to fell it with a machete, and no injuries! I am sure that the men from our group said many silent prayers. The hospital, the orphanage – we did so much; we saw so much; we experienced so much; and we left feeling that there is so much more to do!
What is a Mission Trip? A group of people with hearts for the Lord, following where He leads. Listening to the Lord, opening our hearts and minds to follow Him, and doing the very little that we could to make someone smile.
We will be praying that we keep our experience up front and centre in our lives, remembering how much we have to be thankful for. Also, to listen when the Lord calls us to give a hand, remembering it doesn’t need to be financial. It can be time, a smile, a helping hand. It can be done at home, with neighbours and in the community, in Mexico, Africa – wherever the Lord is calling you to help out.
We will continue to pray for the C-Quest team, as well as for the upcoming teams that will complete some of the projects that we were involved with. We will also pray for all those that touched our hearts and for the Lord’s will to be done in their lives.
Our family is going home with a new perspective. We are all proud of the Cuthill’s boldness to take three years of their lives to follow the Lord’s calling. We do thank the Lord for bringing them into our lives. Without their encouragement, I don’t believe we would have experienced what missions are and how they affect you for life.