Mission trips are a beautiful, life-changing opportunity to share the Gospel. They not only help lead those around you to Christ, but they strengthen your own faith as God speaks to you throughout the entirety of the experience.
For many people, going on a mission trip can be a big leap in faith. Kimberly Behrends, a student at Greenville said she knew before she planned this trip that she had a passion for ministry, traveling, and Hispanic culture. During her freshman year she had actually planned on going to Ecuador, but to her disappointment it fell through at the last minute. At this point, her and Faith Nava began working together to figure out an opportunity for her to be able to go in May once school was out. They ended up finding a ten day trip to Guatemala that worked perfectly with her schedule. It was a little intimidating for her to travel with only one other person (which was me actually!) but an overall worthwhile experience. When it really came down to it she said: “the way it all came together for me to plan the trip and save up the money to go in a matter of a few months was nothing short of God making sure I went.”
Magdalena, Guatemala was the mountainous village where Kimberly’s mission trip was centered at. She volunteered at a school called Tapestry of Love (also referred to as Mount Sinai Christian school) that was diligently created by a Greenville College alumni, Kara Denton Mendez.
Kimberly already had a few ministry classes under her belt, which she said was helpful for her on this trip. When reflecting back on her ministry experience in Magdalena, she said: “my favorite opportunity was getting to spend one-on-one time with some of the kids, and really getting to know them.” She went further into her explanation about getting to spend time with a seven-year-old boy named Deivi and a seven-year-old girl named Melani. She was given the opportunity to play games with them such as Uno and even help them learn English. Despite the language barrier, she found herself able to minister and speak to them through showing God’s love and being attentive.
Kimberly said, “this trip strengthened me in knowing ministry was my calling by how much love I felt for these kids I had never met before.” She was genuinely grateful for this experience and said she would recommend that all ministry majors, and Christians, go on a mission trip. She went further into detail by saying “They should go serve somewhere for the sake of helping others and sharing the Gospel. Whether that be out of the country, across the U.S., or in their own town.”
This trip ignited Kim’s passion for sharing God’s word in as many places as possible. When asked if she would want to go on more mission trips, she excitedly said “yes! I want to go on so many!” She spoke about how this trip was unexpectedly different than how she had pictured it. Many mission trips involve explicitly speaking about the Gospel or building homes, yet she did none of that. She simply ministered to them through showing God’s love and helping meet the needs of the teachers any way she could.