It Sounded Like Fun: Why I Went on a Short-Term Missions Trip
TEAM HAITI 2018
by Matthew Wood, Grace OPC, Costa Mesa, CA (September 2018)
I first served on Team Haiti in 2015. I wanted to go simply because it sounded like fun. I told my pastor that I was interested in going, but that I didn't think my motives were right. He told me that I should go anyway, as I could be put to good use if I went.
When I filled out the application, it asked what skills I had that would be helpful on the trip (being good with kids, crafts, etc.) I didn't have any of these skills (and still don't) so I said that I had none of these skills, but was willing to help. I got accepted to the team, and had a great time.
I co-taught my a lesson with a Team Haiti vet, helped with crafts and games, tried to communicate with the Haitian kids with the little Creole I knew, did chores at the Hopps' house, and spent time with the Hopps and my fellow team members. I loved every minute of it.
However, my time in Haiti wasn't "life-changing." I didn't come home and tell everyone how amazing it was. I enjoyed it, but didn't have the "life-changing" experience that some people have. I didn't want to be a missionary before going, and didn't want to afterwards. I was a member of Team Haiti 2017 and Team Haiti 2018. I went for the same reason as the first time: it sounded like fun.
I don't think it's necessary to have a desire to be a missionary or a pastor to go on a missions trip. You don't need to feel comfortable speaking in public to go. All you need is the willingness to sign up, and then you do as you're told, cheerfully. I have been encouraged by spending time with fellow team members, who are young Christians like myself. I am more grateful for how much I have after spending time in Haiti. And, I am now friends with the Hopps, and have a new appreciation for their work in Haiti. If you go to Haiti, you will get the opportunity to bring the Gospel to Haiti, and help the Hopps. But, you will most likely grow in your own Christian walk, and have a great time, as well.