As I struggled to find out which door was unlocked, I went through a list of excuses I could make to being late. My dog got loose right before I had to leave. I was going to let my parents find her, but she found me on my way out of the intersection and I had to bring her back home. I'd never driven to Durant by myself before. It was a forty-five minute trip, most of it barreling down the highway at seventy-five miles an hour. I'd only been eighteen for a month. I was still getting used to this whole "adult" and "having-my-own-social-life" thing.
Instead, I just said, "Sorry I'm late."
"That's okay," a brown-haired lady told me as she handed me a green folder. "We're just introducing ourselves to one another. You missed these first two people, but hop right in. Here's an empty seat."
I looked around at the group of people. There were twenty people; I'd only seen two of them before, and that was just in passing at church. Everyone else was either from another campus or Charis Bible College. I pulled my crochet out of my purse and listened as everyone introduced themselves. The introductions took up most of the meeting. It makes sense--I wouldn't want to go to on a missions trip to the Oklahoma City Dream Center with a bunch of strangers.
Out of the twenty people going, six of them were ten or under, and two others were teenagers. Due to the abundance of children, we wouldn't be doing much actual ministry. Instead, we'd just be serving people. I was hoping that, after a whirlwind couple of months filled with college, church, and my first two jobs, I could re-learn how to serve people. I'd gotten out of the habit. And that's pretty much what happened.
The drive up to Oklahoma City wasn't bad--but neither was it necessarily good. Oklahoma drivers are apparently worse than Texas drivers when it comes to speed. I had to come home early for school, so I took my own car--a red Corolla that I call The Charlotte--and caravanned with the church busses. The speed limit was 70. My mom reads my blog, so I won't say exactly how fast we were going, but suffice to say, it was a bit faster than 70.
I expected to be nervous, but everyone at the Dream Center made us feel right at home. We girls set up our air mattresses in the children's church room and settled in, while the boys had a computer lab, complete with Legos, to call home. Good for them.
And then we served.
We went to a nursing home, two churches, and a spring break camp to help out. It was great being able to step out of my comfort zone, even just a little bit, to interact with people I normally wouldn't and do things I'd normally never think of. Like handing out clothes to homeless people at the Church Under the Bridge. That was my favorite part of the trip.
Will I go on more missions trips? Hopefully. But you don't even have to leave your house to serve. Do the dishes for your mom. Clean the bathroom without being asked. Help with dinner or laundry, or fix that faucet that's been leaking for a week.
Have you ever been on a missions trip? Where did you go, and what was your favorite part? Let me know in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.