“Oh my gosh, guys, it’s your first mission trip! Are you ready?!” I asked my rising ninth graders the morning of send off. These bright-eyed, bushy-tailed 14-year-olds were not so bright eyed that morning. The look of trepidation and wariness was apparent on their sleepy faces. They had spent the last couple of months peppering me and other mission trippers with questions trying to gauge what the South Carolina mission trip is like.
It’s hot—sometimes, excruciatingly hot. You ride for hours to the Lowcountry listening to
somebody else’s music. You spend a week sweaty and confined to close quarters, sardined in a gym with 100 of your newest, closest friends. Somebody “volunTELLS” you for things you’ve never even thought of doing. You wake up before the crack of dawn to get out to the worksite before the heat index reaches 107°. You fight, you cry, you lose at Spoons.
But it’s the best thing that will ever happen to you.
It takes a special kind of soul to answer the call to mission, and it takes a special kind of mission trip to foster that burgeoning soul. It is this mission trip that awakens the heart of a youth and teaches them the skills to answer God’s call and prepares them to live ready to do so once they arrive back home. God has used this mission trip in the lives of hundreds of youth to teach us how to live ready to face any challenge, whether it be on a worksite or in our daily lives.
I challenged our youth this year to take the lesson of our mission trip to heart: To live ready.
Live ready to love others, to offer a shoulder to cry on, to celebrate with your friends. Live ready to grow others, to share your faith, to be open minded so you can grow yourself. Live ready to serve others, to volunteer in your local and global community, to push your comfort zone wider for the sake of others.
Live ready, my friends, to make Earth as it is in Heaven. Live ready to for all the challenges and obstacles you will face in this life. Live ready to be the best person you can be.
Live ready. Are YOU ready? Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” I LIVE READY. See y’all next year!