Less than 24 hours until I take off on the second trip in two months. It's happening. I'm not ready. I'm not stressed. I'm not worried. I'm nothing but ecstatic.
Ever since Colombia, people have been asking me what the next "Big Thing" is gonna be. When I mention Europe, the question that always follows is, "Oh, so is that a mission trip?"
Man. I can't believe I have to think before answering. I deflect by saying, "Well, we'll actually just be touring through Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales... so yeah." And depending on who I'm talking to, the response is either, "Wow, I'm so jealous!" Or a deflated, "Oh."
People get excited for me, thinking about how wonderful it will be to go on "vacation." To tour without having to worry about teaching English or sharing testimonies or working with kids. Others get a bit of a disappointed look on their face, no doubt thinking about the money that we've spent on this so-called "pleasure" trip.
And after spending the last month-and-a-bit having to awkwardly let people know that this is not technically a "mission trip," I've decided something. I have a love-hate relationship with that term.
"Mission Trip." It implies that there is a certain exclusive mission for every certain exclusive trip. And that's bogus.
"Mission Trip." It implies that there is a certain time and place for the mission, and it requires months of fundraising and thousands of dollars and t-shirts and prayer letters. Not true.
"Mission Trip." It implies that in order for there to be a mission, you've gotta take a trip. These couldn't be more wrong.
Whether we're feeding the disabled orphans in South America or working at a fast food in Calgary, the mission never changes: Bring Jesus to the lost. Whether we're working for human rights in Southeast Asia or touring the United Kingdom, the mission is the exact same: Love the Lord your God with all heart, soul, mind, and strength.
No matter where we go, and no matter whether we go, it's the same mission. Sometimes we take it abroad, and sometimes we remain stationary. When we take it to Colombia, we're simply taking the same mission we had at home, and making it portable- we fulfilled it somewhere else for 10 days. The work we put in is of no more or less value than the work we should be putting in at home, or anywhere else. By growing skeptical of the trips that are not explicitly for charity or evangelism, we are limiting our God. So let's stop. Let's stop limiting the mission to those who hop on a plane. Let's get serious about this mission in our own hometown! Let's get serious about this mission on our trip to Disneyland, Vegas, Hawaii, you name it. Let's get serious about The Mission.
Now... we're going to Europe. We're not visiting orphanages, hospitals, or schools. We're touring. We're exploring these beautiful countries, experiencing brand new things, tasting brand new foods, and living in the new from dawn til dark every single day. And even in these coming 10 days of adventure that await... the mission still will not change.
We won't be able to escape the fact that we are representatives. We are representing our school and our country, but most importantly, we are representing our Saviour. I want it to be clear- I want the Holy Spirit in me to be unmistakable to anyone and everyone I come in contact with. Tour guides. Bus drivers. Team members. Team leaders. Waiters and waitresses. Flight attendants.
This is the trip where we can live out the mission we've been given in a brand new way. We aren't going with a label. We aren't going to be known as the "missionaries" or the "mission team." This is our chance to pick up our crosses, even on our vacation. This is our chance to display the sweetness of Christ in our lives simply through our conduct, our words, and our attitudes. We can't hide behind English lessons or care packages. Nobody expects us to be the light of Christ, so it's time to prove that this whole Jesus thing is legit. It's time to prove that this Christianity thing we've signed up for is real for us.
I'm going offroad. I'm gonna fly. Ferry. Travel by train. Hike. And I plan on being His Ambassador the entire way.