They always say that missions trips are as life-changing for the people serving as they are for the people who are being served. I don't know who “They” are, but they are absolutely right. I learned something incredibly important in Puerto Rico... something I’ve “known” but have not really KNOWN. We each have our own gifts, and while a missions trip is an opportunity to stretch ourselves and serve in ways that are outside our comfort zone (because that is a testimony to God meeting us wherever we are), it is also a chance to take our giftings and let them shine.
I do NOT feel comfortable with street ministry. Never have. The first few days I felt like a failure who wasn’t pulling her weight on the trip. Thank God for the other Thrivers who disabused me of that notion. It wasn’t that I had failed, it’s that I wasn’t giving enough credence to the gifts that I WAS bringing to the table.
Through the gift of the prophetic, using me as a mouthpiece, God was able to touch the lives and hearts of men and women throughout the trip, showing His love and (hopefully) His healing. I am not so proud as to think that if I hadn’t gone, God’s words wouldn’t have made it to His children, but I do think my obedience meant that the recipients got a well-timed word.
My greatest learning is that God loves when we stretch our giftings and offer them to His glory. And whatsoever we have, if we allow Him to work through it, can be a mighty weapon against the enemy.
Again, this wasn’t because of any special talent of mine—it was because I said “OK God, this is what I have to give. Please use me.” And He did.