by: Bianca Dragul, 2015 Crossroads Summer Camp Staff & CDHX
Each year, it’s customary for the Crossroads Discipleship Home to take a mission trip at the beginning of the year. This year, our little group of eight hopped over to Clarkston, Georgia to serve in “The Most Diverse Square Mile in the U.S.”
For the past 10 years, Clarkston, Georgia has been home to more than one million refugees immigrated from Nepal, Ethopia, Colombia, Iraq, and Burma.
Going into the trip, none of us were quite sure what we would be doing on a day-to-day basis. In fact, I had no idea what to expect, I had never been on a mission trip before. I was excited, and honestly not nervous at all. I imagined this trip to be like every mission trip Instagram post I had seen, all rolled up into a neat little week.
Once we arrived, we were able to see what our week would look like. The mornings were a time for us to become familiar with the area: the culture, the language, the dress, and even the diet. In the afternoons, we went through different biblical teachings and spent time sharing The Gospel in the surrounding community. This wasn’t like any Instagram post I had ever seen. This was what evangelism looked like on a very raw and real level. It was much less about perfectly- filtered pictures of kids giggling with foreign missionaries, and much more about building relationships and reaching people far from Jesus.
Stepping into community time, I was insecure to say the very least. After all, the salvation of these refugees relied on how I presented The Gospel, right?
Our trip director Aaron reassured us by referencing 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” He then reiterated that it is not us who causes spiritual growth in others, but God. It was simply our job to be obedient and plant the seed.
After the first day of evangelizing, I understood what it looked like to be a messenger of The Gospel. I was simply sharing the story of Jesus - I wasn’t responsible for the way my new friends responded. I was able to spend time with these friends that were thirsting for The Good News, people who were filled with joy at the thought of Jesus’ incredible sacrifice for us. I spent time with people who weren’t afraid to ask questions - hundreds of questions! And that got me thinking... what if we created an environment in our communities where people far from God felt comfortable hearing about The Gospel? What if we carried The Good News as if it were truly good news?
I learned several things while spending time with these refugees.
First, I realized that people are people. The skin color, dress, diet, and customs of these incredible people don't affect the way they feel pain, the way they feel joy. These things don’t affect their need for The Gospel and the unconditional love and grace of Christ.
Second, I realized that Christ will gift us with confidence when we are willing to step into a place of uncertainty. It is often in those places that we see the will of The Lord most clearly.
So, where is God calling you to plant a seed? Can you can think of a specific place you know He’s leading you to? It’s even possible that you’re being called to water a seed that has already been planted. My challenge to you is to take a step out of your comfort zone, and take a step of obedience into God’s call.
Will you be obedient to that call?
About the author: Bianca was raised traveling all over the world with her family, but made their home in North Carolina. She's a recent high school graduate of Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy, and served on the 2015 Crossroads summer camp staff. Bianca is now enrolled in the Crossroads Discipleship Program, with an internship in the missions program.