Last week we shared a conversation with twenty-seven year old Karla Rogers about her first international mission trip to Mexico. Today she will tell us about some of her personal experiences on other domestic and international mission trips she has taken with Mission Discovery. The photo above is of Karla with some local children in Mexico.
Q: Which other Mission Discovery trips have you been on?
A: I continued to go back to Reynosa for as long as Mission Discovery had trips there. It is really an experience that you want to be a part of as long as you possibly can.
I have been on missionary trips to Reynosa, Mexico, Montego Bay, Jamaica, Port Au Prince, Haiti, Arizona, Virginia, South Dakota and South Texas. All of them were special and amazing.
Q: What were some of the most valuable lessons you gained from your mission work?
A: Actually, my life was changed because of that first mission trip I took with Mission Discovery. I went on to intern with them for two Summers in Reynosa. After I finished getting my teaching degree, I took a job at a church. I am now the Adult Mission Trip coordinator and Youth Mission Trip coordinator for a church in North Texas. I had never wanted to go into ministry before that. My life has been blessed so much because I said “yes” to that first trip.
I have also learned that people are people wherever you go. That might sound silly, but it’s true. We might want to think that we are going on missionary trips to change peoples’ lives, but that isn’t true. Every person deserves love, conversation, a little help sometimes and recognition. I’m not talking recognition for something they’ve done, but recognition for being a person no matter their circumstance. Mission Discovery has helped me understand that God sees us all the same and loves us all the same.
When I go on a trip, I go to meet more of God’s children, to see life from their perspective, to share my life and who Christ is to me and the hope I have in Him.
Q: Any tips/advice for first time mission trip volunteers?
A: Go with an open mind and heart. God wants you to have this missionary experience. Don’t go with expectations. Focus on the week and allow it to happen without forcing anything to happen. Talk to people, even if it’s awkward. Listen to people, hear their stories and think about what life is like for them. How is it different than yours? Share Christ, explain what He has done in your life and what He means to you.
If Karla’s words have inspired you to consider a domestic or international mission trip, you can contact Mission Discovery here and get started on your own life changing experience. You can go as an individual or as part of your church youth group, and you can choose to serve in the USA or abroad. We would love to hear from you and help make your next mission trip an amazing opportunity to serve, grow, teach and learn.