Having recently returned from what can only be described as a life-changing trip to Brazil, I thought it would be fitting to renew my blogging efforts with a recap of the trip.

Prepare yourself

If there is one thing I could stress the importance of to any aspiring minister or missionary it would be preparation. Be prepared! If you’re like me you wait ‘til the very last minute to do anything. But in my experience, (and probably yours), I’m not nearly as prepared as I should’ve been.

This time around I wanted to receive something from God. I had been waiting for this trip for years. Waiting for something to change my focus, waiting to get alone with God and really seek His purpose for my life. Needless to say, I prepared myself to receive whatever it was God had for me; I knew it was something I needed. Before I continue, there’s something you need to know.

I went on this trip for me.

I know that sounds selfish, but hear me out. I didn’t come on the trip to see what I could do and to report what my efforts accomplished in Brazil. I didn’t go on the trip for myself in that way. No, I went because I knew what a mission trip could accomplish in my life. I had experienced mission trips before and was fully aware of the blessing I was in for, if I was ready to receive it.

So, yeah… I went for me. I needed those people and the chance to share the gospel with them every bit as much as they needed me.

And I did share. Through a translator I gave the gospel message to people as they waited to receive reading glasses we had brought for them. But… before I stood up to speak, before I even thought about what I would say and how I would share, I asked the Holy Spirit to give me the words they needed to hear. It was never about me.

Confessions:

  • I’m a selfish person

I like to get things. I like it when things go my way. I like being in charge and putting myself first.

  • I’m a prideful person

I like knowing more than others. I like winning. I like being praised. I like having control.

  • I’m a broken person

I criticize rather than encourage. I’m spiteful, cynical, and arrogant. I fall. Why would God choose a jerk and a mess-up like me to use for His work in Brazil? God doesn’t choose us because of how we see ourselves and our usefulness to Him. Amen! I didn’t deserve to go and preach good news, but I was qualified to share about grace. I wasn’t worthy to tell the glory of God, but I could say first-hand what mercy had done for me. It wasn’t about being worthy or equipped, it was about being available and obedient.

My #1 takeaway:

Obedience is better than sacrifice.

How true it is, that all that works I do and sacrifices I make are but a paltry offering to God. Yet the one action He desires of me is obedience. I can give up everything I own, but if I don’t obey the Holy Spirit it is all for naught. Besides, what sacrifice is worthy to be compared to the reward of obedience!As always, thanks for reading.—the anonymous novelist

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