The reason I think New Orleans was so great was because, to me, it was like a different planet. They land looked different, the people talked differently, and the food sure wasn't from Texas, but that's why it was so neat. To be able to experience new situations I think is a real blessing. We worked on building some houses and we organized a VBS at night. I loved the VBS because the kids were just swo appreciative and happy to have people to focus on them. Not all kids have that and it really makes you appreciate your own childhood and glad that you have the opportunity to give it to someone else. Also, sharing a tiny living space with about 50 other people makes it very easy for new friendships to grow and it provides a chance for us all to practice patience. (there were only two bathrooms) All in all it was a great mission trip, and as my first one I give it two thumbs up. Being taken out of our element forces us to grow, and in growing we become better at seeing life from multiple perspectives. This more open kind of vision allows us more wisdom in how to handle ourselves as children of God and a better understanding of the very true fact that "it's not all about us.
Our trips to Granada were very interesting. The people are so very warm and friendly. After we got the school done, we took a drive around the island and saw beautiful falls, monkeys that would what ever we gave them. We made a boat trip to an island near by and just happened to get there as they were unloading a catch of fish. The islanders waited around the edge of the net that the fish were caught in to get the little ones, and the fishermen took the nice ones to sell. One little girl about 5 had a plastic bag she was putting fish in. She was trying to pick one up, and just as she was about to catch it, it would jump and scare her. I asked her if she would like me to pick it up for her and she smiled very sweetly and nodded. After I got it in her bag, she ran as fast as she could. Doyce found a star fish which we still have. Almost every morning while we were eating breakfast, big sting rays would swim by. We also saw sun sets that were breath taking.
Doyce took our taxi driver (Hector) and one of the fellows that worked in the restaurant golfing. He said it was like a pasture. It didn't matter to the other men. They had a wonderful time. The church services are pretty much like ours except for the singing being a little more lively and not quite on tune, but the feeling was so heartfelt, it brought tears to our eyes.
My primary role with the Grenada mission trip was to share God's word and encourage women in the existing congregations. They were as excited to hear the message as I was to share it. I left Grenada as the one loved and encouraged!
It's difficult to limit the positive experiences to a few sentences, but here goes:
Our mission trips have provided unique opportunities to build relationship with others in the Greenville Oaks family with a common bond of looking at God's Kingdom on a global basis. The trips allow us to focus more clearly on God at work and draws each of us closer to Him and truly changes us forever.
Each and every time I went on a Mission trip with Greenville Oaks. I went into the trip expecting and hoping to help all those that we met. I fully expected to be a positive influence and hope my work made a difference in their lives. Each time I was amazed that was not the biggest impact of the trip. That impact was how the trip and people changed and affected me. I never felt I gave out more than I received no matter how hard I tried. God influenced the relationships I made and the direction of my experiences. I truly value all the trips I have made. Despite always encountering the unexpected, the results were greater and more rewarding every time I went.
The people in Grenada are so appreciative for having been treated by our dental and medical team!
One of the positives of my trip to Grenada was very personal because I shared the experience with my grandson, Colin Karlix. I saw him become totally engrossed with the local people. I was privileged to be at the daily Bible School to share Jesus with the children of Grenada while they waited for their parents who were going through the clinic. It was humbling to see the faithfulness of the local Christians who came to the evening "tent meetings". They were so grateful to our group for being there. The beauty of God's creation was just a few steps onto our balcony where I could look out at the ocean, the rocks lining the shore, and the lush vegetation. Then there were the relationships among the group that grew as we shared the trip. It was often hot and uncomfortable, but I saw only happy faces and willing hands during that week. For me it was a highlight and a time to grow closer to fellow Christians as we all grew closer to God--maybe a small glimpse of heaven.
I have been very blessed to go on many Mission trips since 1998. Whether I was in Mexico, Utah, the Rio Grande Area, or Grenada, the most positive experience has been to witness the power of God to connect me spiritually and emotionally to the people I meet. When I was in Mexico, I helped the dentists in the medical area. I cleaned the instruments and assisted in the tooth extractions as well. One of my fondest memories is of my Mayan sister in Christ Marta, cleaning instruments with me. I could not speak Mayan and she could not speak English, but we were connected and were very close during the trip. Every now and then she would smile at me and hug me. I could feel her love for me despite the cultural and language barrier. We had so much fun together. On that same trip, I experienced something that moved me to tears. On Sunday, after the service, the women of the church made lunch for us. We enjoyed homemade tamales wrapped in banana leaves, chicken caldo, and rice and beans. As wonderful as that meal was, it was the expression of love from the women that touched me very deeply. As we started to leave, one of the young women grabbed me and hugged me as if her life depended on it. She was crying so hard and she kept saying, "You are my sister" in Mayan. I only knew this because the preacher translated for me. I was overwhelmed at her emotion and it made me think that this must have been how the early Christians felt when they had to leave each other. They depended on their brothers and sisters in Christ for encouragement and it was evident that this young woman needed ours. I have never forgotten that trip or the people I met. I am very thankful that God has allowed me to experience his power on these trips and I pray that he will allow me to serve on many more.
Hi; I had a great experience just being with the other members and getting to know some on a more personal level. Going to Granada was awesome! I am still in contact with some of the ladies I met there; and still hoping for one of them to get baptized. If I had the time off, I'd love to go again.
Thank you so much for asking this question. After praying the Isaiah prayer in January of 2005: "Hear am I, send me," I found myself in Grenada in July. It was my first experience working with people I did not know. I visited Grenada 4 times since that year and have found a hungry and precious people. I found the courage during the first visit to share the GOOD NEWS with people that I did not know. It opened the flood gates of my desire to share this message with any and all I meet here in the US. Since that experience, I get to touch many lives in the name of Jesus.
I was blessed and in turn I get to bless others with the hands and feet of Jesus.
I went on the Grenada Mission trip in 2007 to build the school. One day I went downtown to see some sights and was confronted by a gentleman who engaged me in conversation and wanted to give me a "tour" of the area by foot (for a price, of course). I was reluctant but agreed. I felt God's Spirit presented me this opportunity and was going to let it play out. I used my God talk to let him know why I was on the Island (word had already spread about our group) and encouraged him to come to our free medical clinic. We concluded our "tour" soon after, and I again encouraged him to visit with us at the new school. Sure enough, he showed up the next day, went through the clinic, and signed up for WBS. Just goes to show you how God can use us when we let him.
Going on the GO mission trip allowed me to provide care to people who rarely have a chance to see a doctor or nurse. Even if we couldn't help their problem, we showed them that we believed our God could! It was an incredible experience. Everyone should go on at least one trip in their lifetime!
Thank you for asking me to share my mission experience.
Mark 16:15 NIV.
And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." NIV
Matthew 28:19-20 NIV
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything thing that I have commanded you; and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Amen. NIV
Sharing the gospel or our faith can be daunting to some of us but it brings great joy to those who are fully committed. Many times because of the fear of failure, fear of rejection, some past negative experience, shyness, fear of insincerity, feel like you're "selling something", don't want to come off as pushy, feel that we have inadequate missionary skills (don't know what to say), uncomfortable talking about religion, don't have sufficient gospel knowledge, time-consuming overwhelmed with current Church calling/responsibilities, don't want to strain relationships with family members or friends, friends/acquaintances don't appear to "need" the gospel, friends/acquaintances happy with own church, don't have many or any friends who are not Christ of Christ, friends/acquaintances do not believe in God, friends/acquaintances are not religious types or not appropriate to discuss religion at work and the list goes on.
I want everyone to know that God has equipped everyone of us to share and spread the gospel. In so doing it brings glory to His name and His kingdom (Matthew 28:20)
Over the past few years I have been privilege and honored to be a part of a team of missionaries from Greenville Oaks Church of Christ, who were called to work in Granada. For me, it has been a very gratifying and fulfilling experience and over the years I have felt truly blessed to be a part of the team. I did not know what my role would be in Granada or felt that I was equipped the first time I visited Granada but while I was there I found myself reaching out and encouraging people who although they had heard of God, didn't have the kind of intimate and personal relationship with Him. Our loving and gracious God used me to engage people and to share my Christian life with others whom I might not have had the opportunity to share. The result was it was really an uplifting and truly rewarding experience.
We were in Granada for ten days and it was a great joy seeing lives transformed and my own life being impacted in a positive. Each day would start off with Morning Prayer, breakfast followed by daily activities and fellowship.
By the guidance of the Holy Spirit, each prayer meeting always opens my spiritual eyes to God's great love for His people. I remember speaking to one of my fellow mission team members and she precisely described the love of our God as being like an eternal fountain that flows endlessly. As John wrote, "This is love: not that we loved God but that he first loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10). Experiencing this and the joy of knowing that we are all His precious children is sometimes so overwhelming that tears just flow down my cheeks.
After going on my first mission's trip to Grenada my life has changed so much that I decided to enroll in a seven year Bible Study Fellowship program. I'm not saying that your life will change as dramatically, but it will change when you completely surrender to Christ. After observing congregations and churches over the years I wondered why Christians talk about the importance of mission, but tend not to get more involved in missions. I know it's important to Keith our pastor . Is it because we don't know how to get involved? Does it seem to be too big of a task to try and take on? Is it something that's outside our comfort zone? Mission's is important in your own walk with Christ and accomplishing Spiritual Growth.
As I have gone on several mission trips over the years I have found myself embarking on the Spiritual journey which is truly uplifting. To truly obey Christ is very satisfying to myself but more importantly satisfying to Christ. Obviously there are situations that hinder us from taking a missions trip, be it age, illness, financial resources or family commitments. understandably, not everyone can go, but we can all be a part of missions.
Missions are important to our Christian lives. The two greatest commandments and The Great Commission are all intertwined. Matthew 22:37 tells us the greatest commandment is, "Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they mind." The second greatest commandment (v.39), "Thou shall love thy Neighbor as thyself." The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) says, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. What better way to show your love for Christ and your neighbor than by sharing Christ's unchanging message to your neighbor's and obeying Christ's Great Commission.
What about those of us who can Go, but haven't. Have you stopped to pray what's really stopping you? Have you had an opportunity to go? Are you uncomfortable about your spiritual knowledge? Mission's trips can be more than just preaching. In Grenada we built a church, had vocational Bible studies, eye clinics, dental clinics, sports camps and most importantly changed lives by sharing God's message.
From experience I know that bible knowledge is a huge hindrance when it comes to mission's trips and witnessing to others. I would suggest learning your Bible anyway, for your own Spiritual well being. If you go abroad there will most likely be a cultural and language barrier anyway so you may be only to communicate in simple terms and not to in depth. It's time as Christians to step out of our comfort zone and live for Christ. If you haven't had an opportunity to participate on a mission call one of the mission organizations and take the initiative and ask some one at church what has been their experience. I am sure that you will find it has been a regarding experience.
God has blessed us all with our own abilities; let's use them to further His Kingdom.
I hope my few sentences were just short enough!
How are you doing? Yes the trip was so amazing. It was the first time I have ever done anything like that before. I enjoyed it because I was helping others and they were all so welcoming and thankful. They are wonderful people and it seemed like they were very happy we were there to help them. I worked in the vision and I really didn't know what it was going to be like because I do not know anything about vision, but once I was there and the team I worked with it was so easy and fun and I really got to bond with the people in my group.
So it was very amazing and I am happy and thankful I was able to experience it.