The amount of money needed for a mission trip.
More than once I remember sitting down with paper and pen trying to plan how I would raise the necessary funds for a mission trip. Airline ticket deadlines, passport fees, medical expenses and whatever else my team leaders had on the list of financials for each trip.
X amount of dollars
X amount of days/weeks/months until the trip
This meant I needed to raise so much money per month in order to make it happen.
It always seemed doable on paper. $100 per month for payments. $700 due by this date for the airline ticket. $45 due at this meeting for Malaria pills. And so on – and so on.
It all worked out on paper.
I could do this.
Let me just tell you that of the five times I have gone on short term mission trips – NONE of them were financed the way I had written out on paper.
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9
I had it all worked out how I was going to make it happen.
That is NEVER God’s plan. And it has only taken me 39 years to figure that out. God doesn’t want me to do it all by myself. If I can do it all on my own, then what do I need Him for?
Years ago, when I had committed to help lead a team to Guatemala for a two week mission trip, I knew it would work out because at the time I had the best paying job I had ever had in my life.Then, a month after I committed to go on the trip, I lost said ‘best paying job’. Looking back I can see that God didn’t want me to pay for the trip all by myself. Now, I’m not saying that’s the reason I lost my job. That is a whole other story. But God used that season without a job to teach me to trust Him in a greater way than ever before. And He used the fundraising for my Guatemala trip to enable me to share with others how God was providing – and to remind me that I’m not supposed to do it all on my own.
It rarely ever goes the way I have it all planned out in my head.
What about you? Is there something you know God has called you to do? It might not be a mission trip to Guatemala – or anywhere for that matter. For you it might be to publish a book, to move across the country or to start a business doing something you love.
I’m guessing you’ve probably got your plans as to how things are supposed to go.
Now I’m not saying don’t plan – I believe God wants us to be wise in making decisions – especially the big ones. Just don’t be so stuck to your plan that you miss something extraordinary God wants to do, an unexpected way He wants to provide for you and people He wants to involve in your story.
I’ve been on 5 different mission trips in my life and spent six months raising support as an intercessory missionary. In every one of those situations, God blew me away with how He provided again and again – and it was rarely how I expected things to go.
The Guatemala trip? Because I had to raise more of the support for the trip than I anticipated, I was able to share Jesus with so many people even before I boarded the plane.
Don’t be so locked into your plans that you miss something amazing God wants to do.