In 2001 I was blessed with an opportunity to go to Togo, West Africa with my youth pastor and some other students from our youth group. That quick 2-week mission trip allowed me to see and experience many wonderful things which greatly influenced my life. In fact, it was during that trip that God began working in my heart to call me into ministry. I began Bible college the following year to train for missions and to follow Gods plan for my life. Here I am now, almost 13 years later, back in Africa and I have a few expectations for this trip.
I expect God to soften my heart.
- One of the most amazing aspects of a mission trip is the opportunity to have your heart softened. There is something special about going to a new place, meeting new people, eating new things, and being completely vulnerable. I do not want to be hard, calloused, skeptical, doubtful, I want to be full of passionate faith, anticipating God to do great things! I know this trip will soften my heart towards the work of God.
I expect God to broaden my comfort zone.
- How do you expand your comfort zone? You get out of it. I am going to intentionally look for ways throughout this entire trip to get out of my comfort zone. I want to see new things with fresh eyes and hear Gods voice differently than I ever have before. This requires that I spend time with God and that I am intentional about my thoughts and actions while I am here. I cannot be lazy or apathetic if I expect God to do something big here.
I expect God to speak to me on a very personal and specific way.
There were at least 3 very specific divine appointments for me personally on my last trip to Africa. A divine appointment is one of those moments where you see something and you almost hear God saying to you personally, “Lee, this is why I brought you here, I wanted you to see this and be changed by it.” I will never forget some of the lessons God showed me in 2001 and I am looking forward to seeing Gods divine appointment for me here in 2014.
I expect God to change me to be more like Him.
God is love. I want to love like He loves. I want to see those that He loves and be filled with His compassion. I am praying that this trip will expand my ability and my willingness to love like Jesus loves.
Are my expectations to high? I doubt it! I have a big God and his expectations for this trip are even greater than mine. So, I will share about my journey here with you. I will share the experiences about how God will soften my heart, broaden my comfort zones, speak to me through divine appointments, and grow my love for Him and for those that He loves.