Monday, January 25, 2016

Why I want to go to Poland summer 2016


Chris, father & husband
I have lived a fairly sheltered life. I grew up in Santa Barbara county, where I still live. Santa Barbara County is made up of primarily middle class and above families. Growing up, my family was in the lower middle class income level, as such my participation in mission trips with my youth group was non-existent. I was able to attend several youth camps between Jr. High & high school, usually as a student worker at the camp. As a youth group we would attend the camp, but not participate in all the regular camper activities. A portion of our day was spent setting up, serving and cleaning up after the meals, after which we could attend whatever meetings were available. The work-crew approach to attending camp reduced the cost of camp to us, but limited the ability to attend the meetings, interact with the other campers and participate in the recreational offerings. The camps were always amazing and challenging, just slightly different than a regular camper experienced.


Two of the other camps that I attended were young life camps where I served for a month each. They were Woodleaf, in Northern California, and Trail West, in Buena Vista, Colorado. One summer was spent as a busboy and kitchen crew the other as a chefs assistant. There was little to no interaction with the campers or guests, as my position did not include it. Any of my social time was spent with other student that were also working. They were positions entirely as a behind the scenes servant worker. Again, these two experiences were amazing and challenging.

After graduating from high school I volunteered on my church's youth staff. Among the activities I helped and participated in was 2 mission trips to Tacaté Mexico. Both of these trips were to a Bible Institute. As a group we headed up building projects at both the Bible Institue and in a nearby neiborhood and we organized & ran a vacation Bible school. These trips introduced me to the experience of serving outside my own culture and piqued my interest in exploring more opportunities. Unfortunately further chances to join a mission team have not occurred, until now. 


Every other summer Calvary Baptist Church of Lompoc teams up with Josiah Venture to send a group of high school students to Poland to help tech conversational English at a youth outreach camp. We partner with local churches and youth groups to invest in the lives of the Polish students to introduce a basic foundation of not only English, but the love of God as well.

 My desire to join the summer 2016 Poland mission trip is based in my desire to experience a different group of people and culture and to step way out of my personal comfort zone and let God grow and stretch me in ways that I can not plan or anticipate. I believe this experience has the potential to drastically affect my perspective on life, family, church and my approach to relationships. My hope is that God will use the Poland mission trip to equip me to be a more effective and willing tool for His work.