I am constantly in awe of the way God works in my life and the bonds and friendships he continues to form when I’m not even looking for them—especially when I’m not looking for them. This week I was, in a sense, tagging along on Hebron’s June mission trip while Dustin, our missions pastor, and I were trying to get things straightened out for my internship. On Tuesday I started getting a little restless because I’ve just been wanting to know what the heck I’m doing while I’m down here, but something became clear to me on Wednesday that I wanted to share.
The group that I was with includes some older adults and married couples/families and then some younger girls. They’re all around high school age, and while I’ve known one of them for a few years, the rest I’d never met, and I’m at least four years older than all. So when I found out that I’d be spending the beginning of the week with this group, my immediate thought was, “Who am I going to spend my time with?” With that thought, though, God has once again shown me that my worries are laughable compared to what He has planned.
Since the airport on day 1, I have been able to form such a bond with all of the people on this trip, especially the younger girls that I thought I wouldn’t be able to talk to. There is honestly no greater bond formed than one that happens on mission trips—or if there is, I have yet to discover it. I don’t know how to explain it, but I’m sure it in part has to do with having no outside distractions and spending 24 hours a day with the same 21 people.
Wednesday night, rather than going to bed semi-early as I’m prone to, I stayed up talking to some of the girls. They’ve all been on a mission this week pretty much to marry me off, which has been entertaining to say the least, as well as about 70 other adjectives. Through that, though (as well as other things, but especially that) I bonded with these girls so much. And that’s when something clicked for me: although I was antsy at first to get going with my internship, wherever that would be, God had me placed with this Hebron group for the entire 7 days for a reason.
A conversation with my friend Kelly also reiterated the same thing: she got here a few weeks ago for a long-term trip, and she told me her first week she kind of felt like she didn’t do a whole lot; God showed her that everything is in His timing, and to just have patience. Later on, being able to think about that conversation and how it applied to my own trip made me realize that God was teaching me much of the same thing: be patient and wait for the Lord. I truly believe God’s presence can be found in every moment if you look for it. It’s crazy how 21 people, mostly strangers, can be placed together for a week and suddenly feel like family. It’s hard to explain, but it’s even harder to leave groups like this.
Like I said, mission trips form bonds with people that don’t happen elsewhere. The Hebron group dropped me off at my internship on their way to the airport about 2 hours ago, and I am already missing them more than words can express—not because I wish I were on my way back to the US with them, but because I wish they were still here with me. Although I’m sure those ten girls are sitting in the airport right now scheming about me, I can think of no better people to have spent my time with this week. God’s plans are so much better than anything we could ever ask or imagine.