Karla Carr went on her first international mission trip this past January. As a member of Debbie & Keith Myers’ MPT (Missionary Partnership Team), Karla felt a special need to make the trip and walk alongside the global servants for ten days. She traveled from Fairmont, West Virginia to rural regions in Central Mexico. Here are her reflections:
“I expected to go to Mexico and do something great and see even greater things. The ‘something’ that happened is not something I can really share, because to experience what I experienced you would have to go and BE.
The feelings and emotions of being with my brothers and sisters in Christ in another country and listening to their language was overwhelming for me and continues to be. If you are curious about a mission trip, here are my three thoughts:
- There are no words to describe what you experience on a mission trip. It would be like explaining what the color purple feels like, or what a rose smells like. You personally have to experience the thrill, the excitement, the prayer, the hands, the food, the love that goes into being with our siblings in Christ. It has been 3 months since I was in Mexico, and I can still feel the ladies’ hands as they pet my hair, kissed my cheek and made my tortillas. I can smell and taste the smoke on their clothes and skin, and taste the corn and eggs and beans. I can still feel the love they have for me. Until you go yourself, you cannot understand what it feels like or what you feel like and what you learn about yourself.
- We can be happy in our little or we can be miserable in our much. I did not know how miserable I truly was with stuff, until I came back and became overwhelmed with the stuff that I have accumulated in my 40 years on earth. I did not know poverty until I came back to my home. You are poor in spirit if you take for granted what God has given you. In our home, we have 4 bathrooms with hot running water, and doors, and seats. We have a washing machine that can wash enormous loads of jeans. I don’t complain about having to do the laundry now…I am able to throw it in a machine and leave it. I don’t have to wash anything by hand, and certainly not in cold water. I have to check my tongue and my attitude a lot more now.
- The relationship God wants with each of us doesn’t require anything but our time. God certainly doesn’t need us to give Him our stuff to have a relationship with Him. God wants me, God wants you. Gifts are given to bless people, but deep down in our hearts, we just want the time with the person. We want to sit with a cup of coffee and hold hands. We want to talk about the day, watch the sun rise, play in the yard with the kids and hold them close. We want to love because we receive the greatest love we know; God’s unconditional love.
My heart still aches to go back to the ladies and men I met in Mexico. My heart aches to feel the embrace of God’s love through them. I no longer take today for granted. I went to Mexico and God opened my heart.
I am praying that I can get a team together to take to the Myers’ home and share the love that I have seen and felt and long for. Is God calling you to serve? Consider accompanying me to Mexico and living the beauty of God’s love.”
The Short-Term Mission Office is grateful to everyone who dares to say “use me Lord…here I am” and go in His name to BE. For more information about service opportunities, please feel free to contact STM at firstname.lastname@example.org