I Dare You!
Published September 20, 2018
By Guest Author Kathy Wilson

Ever been on a mission trip?  I was blessed to go in late July to the Dominican Republic with a team of 14 amazing South Siders. It was my first time to go to the Dominican, and for others it was a year-long journey to return. If you supported someone financially or with prayer, thank you!!  You made a difference!  

Before a trip like this it's easy to come to form some assumptions. Here were some of my assumptions compared with what I actually experienced:

  • I WASN'T going for a vacation but I got to see the beach!
  • I WASN'T going to visit family but they became family!
  • I WASN'T going because I’m so young and full of energy, but they didn’t care!  I even met a young man named Jason who kept calling me Mom all week. (Side note: for those who don't know, my youngest son's name is Jason so that was fun!)
  • I WASN'T going there to worship, but I heard and experienced what worship is going to be like in heaven!  So many languages singing in perfect harmony melts the soul. 
  • I WASN'T going to check out GO Ministries, but I ended up seeing first hand their medical facility, sports complex and seminary - all of which are part of a big picture of their incredible work in God’s kingdom. 
  • I WASN'T going there to relax, but I got to play volleyball, go down a water slide several times with many young ladies, light lanterns to shine God's light and celebrate ten years of camp, participate in a color run, water balloon fight, bonfire and even play some euchre with Lenae Gabriel (which was a Bible Bowl tradition at each of our home churches). 
  • I WAS going to serve and honor God. What I got was the chance to be a part of one of the hardest-working, most joy-filled team ever!  There was no complaining or even disappointment when it was someone else’s turn to do dishes. We transformed a total disaster zone with paint, elbow grease, brooms, paint thinner, rollers, scrapers, paint tape and a lot of team work into classrooms and a school ready to welcome teachers and students to a new year. What encouragement and satisfaction to see the school makeover complete!As a teacher whose classroom and science storeroom was covered in soot from a fire last fall, and the year-long discouragement from the cleaning and restoration process, watching South Siders transform the chaos into calm of this school so the teachers and kids could begin a fresh was totally healing for me and a huge blessing for them. What a win!  Bringing God’s love to so many makes me thrive.  
  • I didn’t go to learn the language. Yet, they taught me word after word and patiently got me to pronounce their names almost correctly. The Dominican planners of the camp accepted me by allowing me to make decorations for the stage, including me in plans, and sitting with me in services. Laughing with them and cheering them on and just smiling made such a difference.  The week ended at the camp with eleven being baptized right at the bottom of the water slide!

Now I dare you! Pray!  Ask God to show you where your smile can take love and encouragement to the world. Where can you allow God to send you?  What team of fellow South Siders do you want to be blessed by working and partnering with? 

  • Yes, you will have to take days off work. 
  • Yes, you may have to fly. 
  • Yes, you will work your fingers to the bone. 
  • Yes, you will miss your family while you’re gone. Unless you take them with you! (I got to take my daughter Jenna to Ninos in Mexico City and that is a special bond we will always have.)
  • Yes, you will probably eat different food.
  • Yes, you will come home exhausted. 
  • Yesyou will need to financially plan, but God always provides. 
  • Yes, you will see a different culture firsthand allowing you to know how to pray for and support a mission from our church. 
  • Yes, you will work along side fellow South Siders and strengthen relationships within our church. 
  • Yes, you will see your family can pull together without you.  Your reunion with them will give you fresh eyes and a bigger more love filled heart. Yes, it is worth it!  
  • And Yes, the rewards are eternal. 

So tag, you’re it!  

If you have gone on a trip before, you know how important it is, so go again!  If you haven’t ever gone, pray that God will take away the obstacles and allow you to step out on faith. I challenge you to trust God and reply, “God, send me!”  

Are you 20?  GO!  

Are you 30?  GO!  

Are you 40?  GO!  

Are you 50?  GO!  

Are you 60?  GO!  

Are you a senior?  GO!  

And if you simply aren’t able to go, then send!!

I dare you!

[Photo Credits: Mallory Noggle]

Guest Author
Kathy has attended South Side since 1971. Over the years, she has been continually passionate about missions and bible education.

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