Many aspects go into planning for a mission trip to a foreign country to serve people who you have never met and are not sure how to communicate. Some aspects of course include raising funds, getting vaccinated, packing your bags and boarding a plane, but it is the emotional preparation that is not anticipated with the initial decision to go and that will create the lasting memory of your journey. In 2013 Andra Winegeart found herself in that same position, hear what God taught her through her preparation..
I distinctly remember my time preparing for my Mission Journey to Uganda. The biggest concern the enemy placed in my mind was doubt…doubt that I was called…doubt that I was equipped…doubt on my usefulness in the field. I know that most fears are pretty universal and figured there are many many more potential SS missionaries that experience the same concerns that I do and did. We all have insecurities. One of the loudest messages and comforts impressed upon me by God in my trip preparation was the benefit of my biggest gifts, the gift of notice and the ministry of hugs. Once that dawned on me I thought, “I can do that!” I can smile! I can look people in the eye and communicate care and love. I love to hug people! That language is universal and words aren’t necessary to communicate it.
The Sweet Sleep staff work hard to prepare us to be on the field. The manual given to us for preparation helped allay so many concerns. Today while browsing I saw an article about an Apple Store employee and his concerns when faced with his inability to be heard by a client. The lessons spoken of are so similar to those I was taught by God that communication is not limited to speaking the same verbal language. One of my favorite sayings is, “people will not always remember what you say, or what you do, but they will always remember the way you make them feel!” In Uganda I strived to make them feel noticed! To feel accepted! To feel worthy of love. That was my ministry in Uganda, leaving them feeling noticed, accepted and loved.
Where is God calling you to stretch beyond your border, to get out of your comfort zone and to impact an orphan with love, hugs and hope? Visit www.sweetsleep.or/trips to start your journey today.