By Chelsea Weise
This mission trip was something that I needed. This mission trip was a time where I was able to get away from my every day schedule and agenda and focus, reflect, meditate and wonder about God’s creation and my purpose on earth.
For the past 13 years, I might have been able to get away from my family, on my own, maybe twice. This is not a bad thing; I love being with my family. But, it made me get out of my comfort zone a little just because I have been so used to being in a “routine.”
I had a mindset that I would go to the Bahamas and feel sorry for people. I thought that it would be our job to bring enlightenment to them, not to try and “fix” them, but show and speak motivation. I was very wrong.
I knew that this was a trip to be immersed in their culture. I knew that my eyes would be opened, and they were. I had never been on a mission trip where we did not participate in something we were trying to create or help. Pivot Bahamas was a mission trip for myself.
Observing, listening and being immersed with the Bahamian people was so eye opening and humbling I wanted to stay longer. I wanted to know “their secret.”
Of course I knew going in that every culture is different and that is what makes our world tick and function. I teach this to my students every day. If everyone was the same, we would live in a boring world. God made us different on purpose.
The Bahamian people seemed happy and stress-free the entire time we were there. The fact that their everyday life, whether that be school, a second job, a member of Parliament, or whatever it may be, their focus is God. I remember thinking, “what is wrong with America?” Their faith is so strong. They proclaim God and his glory, no matter the occupation or status. It was so amazing.
Another observation that I had on this trip was the way that the Bahamians used their resources and their assets. Me, being an American, I thought by not having as many resources, they would be at a disadvantage. They would disagree. They are so grateful for and utilize all they have.
Coming back from the Bahamas, I have had time to reflect on the true importance of life.
We, or I should say “I,” am always in a rush, always ready to get something done or do the next thing. I need to slow down, say a couple more thank you prayers and remember God is the center of everything.
Deep down, I always knew this, now, I just need to live it out. Since I have come back I have contacted a local pastor, Susan Rogers. She has started a small church in a downtown neighborhood. We are planning on meeting to discuss how my Sunday School class can partner with her and a group to walk a neighborhood. Walk, observe, pray and be aware of God’s creation and God’s people.
I also have tried to make it a goal for my kids to see a difference. They need to be aware of how amazing we all have it and to appreciate what God has done for us. It is important for me to have them know that everyone belongs to God. We are to show love, not judgement. As God’s people, we are to be in constant prayer and praise.
I loved being able to spend time with the Bahamian people and I hope that the friendships that I made there will last a lifetime. I also hope to go back and visit! I love how the body of Christ can be anywhere, and we can share God’s love abroad.