“How was your trip?” is a common question you get asked after returning from time away from your day-to-day routine. We recently asked this question to one of our members, Ashley Cox, who spent her vacation on a short-term trip to Peru and thought you might find her response helpful if you’ve ever wondered what going on a mission trip is like.
What stuck out to you from the trip?
Ashley: During the trip we ate like the locals. In preparing our “chicken noodle soup,” they didn’t waste any part (apparently it all adds to the flavor!). One of the funniest moments was when our teammate found a chicken eyeball in the soup and relished in eating it!
But overall what has stuck with me the most is the hospitality of the people there. Living in homes that would be condemned here in the states, they were honored by our visits and were eager to share time, food, and stories with us. Even though there was a language barrier, we were able to communicate so much of Christ’s love through tone, body language, and facial expressions. I never imagined that in only a couple of days I could bond with others as powerfully as I did.
How did this trip impact you?
Ashley: As I’ve grown in my understanding of our role in God’s mission for the world, I wanted to put myself in a place where I knew I would need to rely upon God and not my own sufficiency. Peru was definitely the place for that! The entire process of preparing and going stretched me and revealed to me more about God’s sufficiency. I struggle with anxiety and OCD and was really concerned about raising support, health and safety, and “being enough” to talk about Jesus with others who don’t know him. And on the very first night of the trip, we were woken up by an earthquake—prime time for someone who struggles with anxiety to FREAK OUT and be consumed by worry! But the peace and trust God gave me made me know we would be fine. The peace he gave me throughout was so evident even my family and friends commented on the change. This trip was a turning point in how I approach prayer because it gave me tangible evidence of God’s faithfulness to work and move when we are asking for things that will be to his glory.”
How did this trip impact others?
Ashley: “A trip like this brings people together fast. As a team, it helped us be more open with things we were celebrating or struggling with. The teens we taught showed sadness when we left because we had showed genuine interest in their lives and were able to share so much about Christ with them. They were very engaged to learn about Christ, and I pray their interest grows and they have more opportunities to grow in the gospel in a community of faith. Our team was also a great encouragement to the missionaries who serve there long-term. Not only can we relate to them as only someone from the same culture can, helping combat the isolation they might feel, but they also shared how our presence gives them so many opportunities to explain to others how Jesus is worthy to follow.”