AN OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME
Early on in life, I was privileged to work for a non-profit organization that specialized in international ministry. The organization was founded in 1982 by a young couple that had just graduated from Bible College and found themselves really attracted to the mission field. In fact their first year was spent in Africa where they lived amongst the indigenous people who welcomed them with open arms. It was here in the field where they we're given the inspiration to start an international work that mainly focused on helping the areas of the world filled with poverty and lack. â€¨â€¨I remember like it was yesterday that within the first six months of working there, I had the opportunity to go on a trip to Ghana, West Africa. I was only 26 at the time and didn't have much time to think about what I was getting myself into. I was single at the time so I had nothing holding me back from saying no. In fact I just made up my mind on the spot after being given this opportunity. â€¨â€¨The founders personal secretary had also always dreamed about go on a trip herself and now the time had come to both of us. Within one month after being asked we we're headed on this trip across the world to an unknown place. A place filled with beautiful people who live amongst some of the most hardened and opportunistic people. â€¨â€¨When we landed at the Accra airport in Ghana, I still have vivid scenes in my mind of the airport runway being in the middle of what seemed like a cleared path in the middle of nowhere. Let me back up a bit. My travel partner Virginia was escorted by two men who posed as airport security into a dark section of our first stop in Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast). Of course it was to be harassed for money. After quickly catching on who these men where, I had to talk myself out of the situation by telling them I will pay when they take us to our terminal. And they did after some arguing but I refused to pay anything because they we're thieves who we're being opportunistic with unaware foreigners.
LIFE CHANGE HAPPENS AFTER MANUEVARING THROUGH TURBULANCE
One the local pastor picked us up at the airport, we we're escorted right into a businessmen’s meeting where I was apparently scheduled to be the guest speaker. After the brief 20 minutes that I spoke to a group of about 50 Ghanaians, we we're then escorted to a church service where I was also scheduled to be the main speaker of the night. It was a good thing that I had been mentally preparing for this type of occasion and when it happened, we had a great evening together.
The rest of the days seemed to have flown by, we we're booked all week long to meet at elementary schools, youth groups, women's groups and other groups I cannot remember. We had a constant flow of speaking engagements from the moment we stepped foot in Ghana. â€¨â€¨I have found over the years that the best way you can have change in your life is when you help others achieve change for their life. When you give what you have away, it somehow comes back to you in a greater measure. Now several years after going on several trips all around the world, my life has been impacted dramatically because of these trips overseas. In the past 14 years I've now traveled several times to these amazing location around the world: Ghana, West Africa, Nigeria, West Africa, Beirut, Lebanon, Amman, Jordan, Alexandria, Egypt, Damascus, Syria, San Jose, Costa Rica, Mindanao, Philippines. Each one of these trips helped form the grateful attitude I hold in my heart now.
My hopes for you is that you will have an opportunity one day to take a mission trip and experience a life changing time that will impact your world forever. This article is dedicated to the men and women in these wonderful countries who are standing up for what they believe and are making an impact in the villages, neighborhoods, cities and some even their nation.