Well over a year ago, two enthusiastic and passionate moms (Alischia Besteman and Samantha Willing) came in to meet with Becky Gonzalez, Director of Global Outreach, and me with a desire: We want to go on a mission with our families. They weren’t sure where. They didn’t know how…yet.
But in April it happened. Three families, with children of various ages, spent their spring break in the Dominican Republic serving alongside Children of the Nations and I Love Baseball. All because these two women took a leap of faith and responded to what they believed God was calling them to.
I asked Samantha to share a bit about their experience. Here is a bit of her family’s story.
What surprised me the most about our mission trip was…
How amazingly we functioned as a family. We were out of our comfort zone and physically uncomfortable at times but we really banded together and had a great time. It ignited a passion in our marriage and took our love and respect for each to a deeper level. The impact truly showed when we asked our kids if they wanted to go to Hawaii this next year or another mission trip and they enthusiastically said, “ANOTHER MISSION!”
God really showed up…
At the end of our trip when we were saying our goodbyes we decided to give away a few things, but felt like it was not enough. We could have given it all and still have wanted to give more. When my 11-year-old son gave away his favorite football to one of the boys he bonded with my heart was bursting. I knew it was special to him and I knew that his gift to this child was the Holy Spirit working through him. I have never felt such complete peace as I did when I was getting rid of my material things.
I had an “Aha!” moment as I realized that this is how it must feel to tithe.
I had an “Aha!” moment as I realized that this is how it must feel to tithe (which is something we have always been scared to commit to) – the feeling of peace, joy, and calm that comes with not being attached to our things and allowing God to use our blessings to bless others.
We had been warned before our mission trip that sometimes people come back and feel really guilty about their own comfortable lives. We came back not feeling guilty, but feeling incredibly accountable for how we use what God has given us. We came back with a desire to be different, to spend different, to give different and to develop servants’ hearts in our children and ourselves. Our eyes were opened to how God can use us if we let Him, even when we feel ill equipped and not particularly strong. We came back with softer hearts and eyes to see the mission field around us in Bellevue. not just far away. This trip helped us re-define our family and create a vision for our future. It was incredible.