The following was written by Storyteller Missions trip member, Melinda Salla. So many stories like Melinda's are told to us--how fear and all of the unknowns nearly kept team members from taking that step of faith to Be A Storyteller on a trip. Thank you for sharing, Melinda!
You have heard of them, right? They are familiar words...
"Definitely a good thing."
"Neat when people do that."
These were some of my thoughts towards mission trips before last March. Have you ever just been doing life comfortably, when God totally stops you in your tracks and completely changes your direction in life? That is what He did with me last March. A friend that I hadn’t seen in a long time sent me a message on Facebook and asked me to pray about going to China with her on a mission trip to an orphanage.
China?! I immediately dismissed the idea and thought of all the excuses why I COULD NOT possibly go. Well, God didn’t let me off that easily and made it clear that I was to GO to China in October of 2014. I thought my excuses were pretty good. I mean, I have four kids I have to care for, I homeschool two of them, I didn’t think I could find childcare for ten days, the cost of the trip was so expensive, and on and on. Logically, those were all GOOD excuses. But here’s the thing: if you don’t get anything else from this blog post, remember this: There will always be good or even great excuses that we can come up with for why WE CAN’T GO. But God is so much bigger than that. If He calls us to go, he will provide whatever we need to go. The ONLY thing we have to do is say YES. So even you who are reading this post today, maybe God is calling YOU to go on a Storyteller Mission Team this year. But let me tell you the rest of the story…
"There will always be good or even great excuses that we can come up with for why we can't go."
I signed up to go on the trip on March 31, 2014. The night I filled out the online application I lay on my kitchen floor sobbing. How could I go this far away from my family for this long? I am not an adventurous and independent soul who travels alone across the world. I HATE flying, I mean I really have a serious fear of flying. I just signed up for 14 straight hours on an airplane! I only know one other person on my team. All of these fears filled my mind and heart for months but again and again God showered me with the peace that passes all understanding. He provided ALL the needed funds, He provided childcare, and meals were even brought to my family while I was gone! He completely CHANGED me, my life, and the course of my life through this trip.
As our plane floated down from the sky towards the place in China that I had been preparing to come to for the last seven months, my heart was filled to overflowing as I looked out over the mountainous landscape and the huge ravines. Later that day, when we visited the orphanage for the first time and I saw the faces of these precious little ones my heart was crushed into a million pieces. My life, my “stuff”, my problems all seemed so insignificant in comparison to these little treasures that had no one in life who truly loved them. No one that is, except God. The very same God who had sent me half way across the world to hold and care for them and love them, even for just a brief time. Throughout that week, the visible changes in many of the children was amazing. God gave us the ability to touch lives and see miracles accomplished that had and are still having an impact on those little ones.
"My life, my 'stuff', my problems, all seemed so insignificant in comparison to these little treasures that had no one in life who truly loved them."
I came back home a changed person and I hope to never go back to the comfortable, complacent life that I came from. I have seen that saying YES is the best thing that you can do, even when, ESPECIALLY when, you are scared. My eyes have been opened to the very real needs of orphans and the fact that I have had the privilege of seeing this firsthand is humbling and motivating.
At the end of our trip when our plane took off from Beijing towards Chicago, I whispered to myself, “I will be back, China. I will be back.” My husband and I will be back in China this year to adopt a little miracle from God. And after that, I pray that you will find me on more Storyteller Mission Teams bringing others along who have seen God’s work in my life, how he takes such a weak vessel and is able to use it to bring all glory to HIM.
Is God presenting you with the opportunity to step out in faith and serve Him by serving orphans? Check out the Storyteller Missions trips available in 2015 and 2016 and pray that He would lead you where He is calling you. Stories are waiting for you to tell...Be A Storyteller.
#BeAStoryteller on a Mission Trip!