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  • Writer's pictureCarolee Villegas

Why Go on a Mission Trip in 2024?

I have heard the following so many times: “Why go on a mission trip to another country? There are plenty of people that need to hear the Gospel right in this country. It would be more efficient to help out other countries by just sending them money.” On the surface, this is all true. And yet it denies the call, “Go into the world and make disciples of all nations…” Let me tell you about some reasons I follow God’s call to go.

Our Mission Trip Team smiling together in Guatemala.
Our Mission Trip Team smiling together in Guatemala.

But first, let’s look at the roadblocks I faced.

.Carolee smiling with a visitor of our eyeglass clinic.
Carolee smiling with a visitor of our eyeglass clinic.

The first one is fear.

Fear of crime, diseases, and discomfort in being in a “foreign” place. Reaching the Hungry strategizes to mitigate each one of those fears. While we were traveling in Guatemala by bus/van, we always had someone who was equipped to deal with any criminal behavior that would be directed at us Americanos. We were watched over and always kept in safe spaces. The food provided for us was high quality and delicious. Adequate fresh and clean water was available, and we had a safe space to sleep. Yes, there were times when I was out of my comfort zone, but God provided refreshing interludes where I would be restored.

The second roadblock for me always seems to be money. "How will I get enough to make the trip?" I have seen over and over again that God provides, sometimes in miraculous ways. Reaching The Hungry is available to assist in encouraging others to join in support of the mission trip.

Finally, I have worried about not knowing the language or lacking the ability to minister to people who are so different from me. God has given us the ability to communicate with expressions, hand motions, smiles and even supplying others who can bridge the language gap. As to ability, I have learned that I need to depend on God to give me whatever I need in through the Holy Spirit. It is not about me, and He ALWAYS provides, always.

Why Go on a Mission Trip?

With that taken care of, here are a few of the reasons to go. The first is being obedient to God’s call and desiring to be a blessing to others that are way less fortunate than I am. It’s a funny thing. I have never come back from a trip where I have not been blessed way more than I could ever give out. I am astounded at the overflow of God’s work in me through service to Him.

Carolee and our team walking through local dump.
Carolee and our team walking through local dump.

Guatemala gave me two particularly impactful experiences. The first was a trip out to the local dump. We went out there to give food to the people who lived in or near the dump. They were so grateful and seemed to enjoy our smiles and the food. We walked around the dump with burning tires, smoke, and trash. Young children were out looking for items that could be salvaged for sale while toxic smoke billowed around them. I was with two other women when we walked up to a “home” made of plastic sheets to keep the wind out. The two ladies with me spoke in Spanish to the family about God’s love for them. I was blessed to be able to be there in the background, praying.

Carolee Villegas holding a malnourished baby.
Carolee Villegas holding a malnourished baby.

The other event involved a ride up in the mountains, first in a van and then in the back of a bouncing truck that could navigate the rural roads. We walked up to a small center, parked, and walked up to a tiny building with a few people around. Seated on a bench was a mom and a crying baby. The nurse in our group looked over the baby. She was malnourished and suffered from an infection surrounding her spinal bifida opening. The tiny baby was so vulnerable, and the mom was covered in worry. For some reason, they chose me to carry this precious bundle down the path to the awaiting ambulance. The ambulance took her to a nearby medical facility because she would not have made it to the hospital in time.

Thank you, Lord, for letting me be your hands and feet.

I want to be worthy of all you have done for me. Yet I know that only you are worthy, I just have to be obedient to your call and know that you will equip me.

Want to go on a mission trip with us?


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