The office staff at Mission Discovery spend most of their time behind the scenes. They are the voice on the other end of the line when people call our office. They meticulously go through paperwork and make sure all the details are straight before our project coordinators set foot on the ground. They truly are the heart of Mission Discovery.
Each year the staff in the office are encouraged to go into the field for at least one week. It is good for everyone at Mission Discovery to connect with what is happening on the ground. It also gives the office staff a better understanding of the projects that they talk about on a daily basis. Stephanie Cook has worked in the Mission Discovery office for over ten years. This summer she chose to go to Ft. Blackmore, VA for her week in the field. As an added bonus, Stephanie was able to have her husband and three children join her. For many years Mission Discovery has offered family mission trip opportunities, but this was the first time Stephanie and her whole family served together.
Stephanie says she was overjoyed when it finally happened. She had dreamed about serving as a family with her husband and three girls for eight years. At the same time, her mother’s heart began to ponder new questions about the trip. She wondered how her girls would interact with the people. How would God speak to her children? At the ages of 3, 6, and 8, how would He use them? At such young ages, how could they possibly make a difference?
These worries aren’t new. Many short-term mission trip participants struggle with the same thoughts and questions that Stephanie had concerning her children. Stepping into the mission field, especially the short-term mission field, causes us to question God’s presence in our lives. What will this mission trip look like? Will I be useful? Will my time be worth it?
When the first workday arrived, Stephanie and her girls went to the old weathered trailer-home that would be their worksite for the week. She stepped onto the rocky hillside in Appalachia, curious to see what would happen next. With no hesitation, Stephanie’s youngest daughter ran up to a little girl who lived at the trailer and said, “Oh! I love your pretty toes! My mommy paints my toes too!” With those two sentences, a friendship began to form and walls were instantly torn down.
God works in amazing ways. He can use a three-year-old to show love and acceptance and gain access where others wouldn’t be able to go. We constantly doubt His ability and question His methods. Through it all, He remains faithful and able to do abundantly more than we ask or imagine. Doubts and worries are normal when we go on a mission trip, but it is important to remember who we are and who we go with. This summer, thanks to her three-year-old daughter, Stephanie was reminded that God is in control.
For information on Mission Trips to Ft. Blackmore, VA call our office (800)767-8720 or visit the trips page.