Anyone who has ever been on a mission trip will tell you that the key to having an amazing time is flexibility. My church's mission leaders as well as the in-country personnel plan and coordinate for as many problems as possible but whenever you are operating in a third world (or for that matter outside of the US), things do not always go so smoothly. Time schedules vary. Machines break. Supplies are depleted. If one is not flexible and willing to adjust to this challenges, the mission trip can be miserable. However, even though one has knowledge that flexibility is important and even the desire to be flexible is present, the walking out of that flexibility can be difficult. In October, during HFBC’s Living Water International mission trip to Honduras, I learned how to practically take this head knowledge and heart desire and implement it into my daily life. We were blessed to have a wonderful in-country leader, Emillio (see photo above.) He did an amazing job! As we were driving through the mountains of Honduras on the way to Saba, our home away from home for the next six days, Emillio spoke a line that I will never forget. “I am not going to let that get to my flesh." What was so impactful about this line was that it began with the thought process. I have been on enough trips to respond with flexibility when challenges happen, at least on the outside, but have been know to pick up an offense or respond, in my mind, judgmentally.
I remember distinctly one-time things were not going correctly (at least as I saw it) and I started to grumble and complain in my mind while I still had a fake smile on my face. (To be honest, I don’t think I was fooling anyone but myself.) Immediately, Emillio’s line came to my mind and I repeated it to myself and my “pasted-on” smile became a true grin as I chose the better way.
What has been so cool since returning to Houston is that that line works here as well! I can make the decision as to whether or not I will let something get to my flesh. When I choose to be flexible, I have won the victory and the enemy and my flesh have been defeated! As always, I go on a mission trip to help others but I ALWAYS get impacted and transformed.