“BECOME GOD’S HANDS AND FEET”
When my daughter came home all excited about the announcement of the mission trip to the Dominican Republic, she first asked if she could go and then she asked if I wanted to go. My first reaction to her question about me going was, “I don’t think so, honey. This is a trip that you should do by yourself.” I was wrong.
After attending the information meeting about the mission trip and hearing the details about the trip, my initial reaction changed. Marisa could see it in my face and she knew that I had changed my mind. I didn’t want to miss out on what sounded like an amazing, life-changing experience. After thinking about the time and money involved in going on this trip, I decided that this was a way for me to help spread God’s love to others. I was all in now.
Initially, I wanted Marisa to go on this mission trip without me. She had wanted me to go with her, but in my mind, I thought she would gain more out of it if I, her mother, wasn’t there for her to lean on. As the months went by before the trip, I was getting more and more excited to be taking this trip with her. She is a senior in high school this year and I was realizing that my time with her before she left for college was limited.
Going on the mission trip to DR with Marisa has been one of the best things I have done! I am thankful that God spoke to me and moved me to say yes to going. Not only did we get to experience the amazing culture, people, and scenery of DR together, I saw my daughter through a new lens and, even though I thought I knew Marisa, I quickly came to realize that she had grown into an amazing young woman that I am extremely proud of. Watching her work hard each day, not complain about not having running water or electricity, eating foods that she normally hates, and interacting with the children so joyfully made me realize that God was working in my daughter also.
If you have an opportunity to go on a trip like this with your teenager, I highly recommend that you do. Marisa and I were able to experience a new culture together, watch God work through the group we went with, understand each other better by seeing each other in a different environment, and make lifelong memories. I will always be thankful for this opportunity!
~Linda Swift, Member of the Dominican Republic Mission Team