8 Things I’ve Learned About Missions
By: Katie Slaughter
Most of my experience in missions has been at a children’s home in Honduras; the House of Hope. Based in Puerto Lempira, the capital of the la moskitia indian region, they house around 45 kids at a time; orphans, kids from abusive homes, malnourished babies/children; basically anyone who needs a safe place to stay is sent there. I’ve been five times so far over the years, and I’ve learned a few things along the way. My longest trip has only been a month, so I’m by no means a full time missionary or anything. These are things I’ve gone through personally, observed, or been taught by those who are there full time.
(1) Don’t neglect your time with Jesus.
This may seem obvious, but you could easily wake up and go all day long busy taking care of things. At some point though, you’re going to get burnt out. Things will start to get dark, and you’ll find yourself really confused. Don’t lose your vision for why you came, all the hard work in the world is empty without him.
(2) There will be good days, and there will be bad days.
As in, days so full of adventure and love and laughter that you could cry from thankfulness; and days so crazy you’ll cry because things couldn’t have possibly gone worse. (Dramatic, but everyone feels that way sometimes right?) But tomorrow is always a new day.
(3) Everyone is human. We give much grace because we need much grace.
(4) If you’re a hypochondriac, missions might not be your calling. Unless you’re planning on never staying longer than two weeks, lice is basically unavoidable. There’s going to be babies with aids and Tuberculosis, scabies infestations, impetigo outbreaks…etc. Nothing to be scared of, but it’s a reality you can’t simply avoid.
(5) Bring a jacket.
Even if you’re going to the middle of a rural jungle, with no air conditioning for miles, you’re idea of “chilly” will change. It will rain at some point, and you will get cold.
(6) The “American way” isn’t necessarily the best way. Be sensitive to the culture you’re working in, you might not agree with everything, but keep an open mind, and an understanding heart.
(7) The meanest kids who you think hate you at first will end up being the ones that love you the most. Don’t just give attention to the the easy ones, the tough ones are worth it.
(8) Don’t forget that Jesus is the reason for it all.