Our Mission Road TripJuly 12, 2012
Every year Anthem, from Olympia, Washington, takes off on a two week mission trip around the globe. Over the past decade we’ve visited Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Israel, England, and other amazing spots, all with the purpose of putting the Great Commission into practice. This May, Anthem went on a road trip across the southern United States with 35 people in one bus — and we knew that, if nothing else, it’d be interesting!
We flew into Harrisonburg, Louisiana, a small town where our focus was heart; we didn’t want to just talk about the goodness of Jesus, we wanted to show His heart. We painted and cleaned the local school and church; we performed dances and shared our testimonies; we laughed, cried, and prayed over the students who call Harrisonburg home. We watched the Lord take a few days of our lives and make an amazing impact that we never could have made without Him.
Over the next two weeks we traveled from the sprawling green bayous of Louisiana to the dry and dusty San Antonio, Texas; onwards to Las Cruces, New Mexico; over a desert wasteland to Anthem, Arizona; through the hills to Las Angeles, California; and finally our last stop at the sea battered cliffs of San Diego, California. It took us long days of travel, afternoons in the heat and nights spent battling mosquitoes and humidity. But what we encountered along the way made it more than worth it.
At every stop we made we visited schools, danced until we were dizzy, and met some of the most amazing people in the country. There are hundreds of astounding moments that we’ll never forget; finding puppies in the desert, welcoming teenagers into church for the first time in their lives and seeing their salvation, and holding children who came to know. But one of our favorite group memories comes from Los Angeles.
In partnership with the Dream Center, Anthem joined Adopt-A-Block, a weekly outreach to some of the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods in Los Angeles. We spent an afternoon going door to door, inviting people to church and praying over those who would let us. We did dishes, took out the trash, and offered smiles whenever we could.
At the end of the afternoon we were gathered with a handful of volunteers and a dozen happy local children. The kids weren’t thinking about their poor neighborhood. They weren’t thinking about the gang violence was through the roof around them. They only knew that strangers from Washington had come to swing them around in the air and carry them on their shoulders, and they loved us for it.
Their innocence was infectious, and we carried the memory of them through the rest of our trip, and all the way home. At the end of the day, missions trips aren’t about the breathtaking events you put on, the food you pass out, or the testimonies you share. They’re about reaching out to people in the darkness and reminding them that they aren’t alone. It’s about taking all your faith and giving it to people who don’t have any to spare.
At Anthem, we’ve discovered that no matter how hard the weeks of travel become, or how intense the nine months of discipleship are, when you get back on a plane and know you’ve changed lives for the Lord, every second of sacrifice is worth it.
Click here for more information about Anthem, and make plans to join us on mission next year!This entry was posted in Articles, Featured and tagged Anthem Olympia, Discipleship, ELN, God, Jesus, Ministry, Missions, Northwest District, School of Ministry, Stories. Bookmark the permalink.