Susan was excited about going on an international short-term missions trip to Slovakia with her church group. Before leaving her home in California, Susan prayed that the Lord would use her on the missions trip to show the love of God towards someone.
Susan was a part of a team that was telling people about Jesus by using the creative arts. Christian musicians played, there was dance worship and a message of salvation and hope was proclaimed. Towards the end of the concert, Susan overheard a man loudly saying “Katolícka!” while pointing his finger at the woman. She appeared to be in her forties, wore dark clothing, and sat motionless on a plaza bench. More notable however, was the empty, blank stare on her face. Apparently the man was chiding the woman for being a Catholic and praying to Jesus’ mother Mary.
The man asked Susan to speak to her. Her name was Aranka. Susan, having come from a Catholic background, knew how sensitive one could be when one’s beliefs are challenged. Gently, Susan explained to Aranka the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. Aranka listened carefully, asked Susan’s questions, and stated bluntly that she had no joy in her life. Susan told her that if she had Jesus living in her heart she would know true joy. To Susan’s surprise and delight, she promptly asked how she could get Jesus into her heart and life! Susan reviewed the Gospel essentials and asked if she understood and believed, and Aranka indicated she did. Then Susan with prayed with Aranka to invite Jesus into her heart and life. Susan excitedly told her that she had now passed over from death to life and she was now a part of the family of God. The two women briefly talked about praying, reading the Bible, meeting with other believers, and Susan gave her information about the local church.
Aranka thanked Susan and for the first time during their encounter, Aranka’s face softened and then she smiled.
Susan rejoiced knowing that God had worked through her while on her missions trip to Eastern Europe. Are short-term missions trips worth it? Seeds are planted, souls are saved, lives are changed. What was your experience on a missions trip? Leave a comment. We’d like to read about it.