Witnessing Their Way

 What first enters your mind when you hear the phrase “missions trip”? Is it construction projects, international travels, or children’s camps? Most trips have a set “mission.” However, I’ve realized that our plans are pointless if we don’t look for the needs of people and meet them where they are.

A few years ago I went on a missions trip to the Golden Isles in Georgia, and one day we were scheduled to play games with residents at a nursing home. I love board games and couldn’t wait to round up a group of seniors for some good old competition.   

We set up Mexican Train Dominoes, and I sat next to a woman named Miss Flora. “I don’t want to play the game,” she told me.

“Of course you want to play!” I exclaimed.

“I’m blind,” Miss Flora said curtly.

After an awkward pause, I said, “Well, Miss Flora, we can be on a team. I can tell you everything that is going on!” It didn’t take me long to realize that listening to the number of dots on dominos was not very fun.

So instead of trying to be Miss Flora’s eyes, I decided to use her best means of communication: talking and listening. Soon she was telling me about her childhood in Florida, her grandson who was firefighter, and how she enjoyed listening to audiobooks. I asked if she ever listened to the Bible, and she said no. That gave me an idea. When I got home, I found an audio recording of the book of John. I wrote Miss Flora a nice letter, put the CD in a package, and sent it to the Golden Isles.

I didn’t hear back from Miss Flora. She might have been a Christian who didn’t have access to the Bible, or she might have never heard God’s Word. Only when I abandoned the missions trip’s plan of playing games did God show me a true need. I realized that we may plan the trip, but God always plans the mission.

Rachel Sinclair writes from Birmingham, Alabama, and loves to share people’s stories. Contact her at rsinclai@samford.edu.

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