Mission Trips: The influence and impact

Alec Harris, Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Grace Hayes

Photo courtesy of Grace Hayes

Mission trips are simply incredible. The chance to go overseas and share the Gospel with people who have never heard it before is a life-changing experience. Trips like this one not only change the lives of the people witnessed to, the ministers themselves are also changed. A group of 13 people went to Guatemala from March 2-9 to experience just that. One of those people was Grace Hayes.

Hayes is an education major with a passion for ministry. This trip gave her something extremely important. While on the trip Hayes discovered her absolute, undeniable love for ministry. After the trip she felt entirely convinced that her future will include overseas ministry. She described the service and love the team poured out to Guatemala in such a passionate way that it is abundantly clear part of her heart was left behind when the team returned. Hayes said that if she could have dropped everything at that moment and gone back she would have done it in an instant.

The team consisted of eight guys and five girls. It is unusual for a mission team to have such a strong ratio of guys. This was a huge blessing as the guys were able to minister to the young boys in Guatemala just by being good influences and showing the boys what it looks like to be a man, and more importantly, a man of God.

As well as this, the team gave out supplies and provisions to families all throughout their trip. These gifts helped open doors and make the people even more receptive to the gospel presentation. One of the most touching stories Hayes recalled was about an older lady in a village that had been abandoned by her family. This lady had no one, and the other villagers stole from her. The team was able to minister, give her the hope of the gospel, give her supplies, and spend time with her. The precious work that is done on mission trips is worth all the effort. Hayes expressed a wish that everyone would be able to experience it.

Not only was the team able to reach out to all the people surrounding them, they were able to touch the hearts of the people involved. Hayes specifically connected with the translator of the trip and was able to encourage and uplift her as she had only been a Christian for a short time after a fairly worldly life.

Hayes described their trip as the precursor to many more in the same area that will hopefully grow the seed planted in their time. The team itself grew incredibly close in the short week and it’s members will be different from it for the rest of their lives.

Hayes spoke with an amazing amount of warmth and love that was striking. She spoke of her spiritual life after the trip being challenged to be more consistent and finding a permanent passion that extends beyond a spiritual high. She was able to declare the goodness of God through all of her trials and struggles.

The impact that this trip had on Guatemala and the team was clear to see. Anyone who is possibly considering a mission trip should take serious steps to try and pursue it and trust God to close the door if it is not His will.