MY FIRST MISSION TRIP
By Triston Bennette
Let me first share a short background on me to help you better understand the depth and importance of my FIRST mission trip. I hope it will be both encouraging and inspiring to those looking to step out in faith.
I live on Roatan, a small island off the coast of Honduras. I am a 19-year-old student attending a private Christian School. Over the years, I have seen a number of missions teams travel to Roatan. These mission teams sacrifice by leaving their home countries to come and share the Word of God. Additionally, I watched and occasionally was able to assist and talk with individuals as they helped those in need by giving and sharing.
The Bible reminds us about giving:
"Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." II Corinthians 9:7
Because of my past experiences with some of these mission teams, I developed a passion for ministry. I started praying and searching for different places where I could share and build relationships. Bottom line, my life’s desire was to be an inspiring figure for God! I want suffering people to know that God has a plan for them and all they need to do is hold on.
Well, this past Christmas, my dream became a reality. The Bible tells us that, “God can turn the impossible into the possible.” So, when my sponsor/mentor Leisha Boulware emailed me and she said,
“Triston, I have some good news for you. Do you want to go on a mission trip to the Honduran mainland (La Ceiba) and be part of the team that delivers the Christmas Shoeboxes?”
Initially, I got so excited about going. That is until I found out that sponsor (I call her Mama Bear) said she would not be able to go with me. So in order to meet up with the mission team, it would require me to do some travelling alone. Then, I was scared!
First, if I decided to go, I would have to travel a portion of the adventure by myself.
Secondly, I had never met any of the team members. These were definite major firsts! But I felt like God had something in store for me and the Lord would guide and protect me all the way.
“Jesus is the way, the Truth and he is the Life.” John 14:6
Through AHMEN, Alabama Honduras Medical and Educational Network, I got the opportunity to go on my very first mission trip by joining the 2015 Honduran Christmas Shoebox Distribution Team. So, I got up and put on the God’s Holy Armor and I shifted into my mindset “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”! I took the 2-hour ferry ride to the Honduran mainland. When I arrived in La Ceiba, one of the team drivers was waiting for me. He held a sign with my name on it. That certainly relieved one of my fears. The driver and I took a four-hour drive to meet the team landing at San Pedro Sula Airport. That was also a first, traveling by bus for four hours and traveling with a driver I did not know. It was at the airport that I first met and the team members were introduced to one another.
It was in that moment, I realized my first God journey was beginning! To begin with, let me simply describe my first mission trip in one word-“first.”
Here is a snapshot of my adventure:
*Day 1 -We went to a little church called (Palabra de Fe) Cruzada, Some of the members speak English and Spanish. They shared an hour and a half Christmas program. At the end of the worship service, we handed out our first set of Christmas shoe boxes. It was an awesome beginning.
* Day 2 & Day 3 -We went to the store and bought bags of food, beans, rice, sugar, corn flour, flour, and other stuff to give to the Honduran people. We packed probably around 190 bags! It was a long day and a lot of work, but work that needed to be done. I believe buying and delivering the food was an aspect added to the Shoebox ministry by the team leader. That was definitely a first for me!
* Day 4 -We give out our second set of Shoeboxes. We had service for the kids at the Cruzada church, located near the Mission House. After the service was over, the church served dinner for the people. It involved a lot of hard work on our part, but we managed to get the job done. That was another first experience!
*Day 5 –The team packed up all the food purchased in the truck, and then drove up to rural areas in the mountains. Once there, we give all the parents a bag of groceries and all the kids a shoebox according to their age. The people we encountered were so happy that they started crying. They had happy tears because we were fulfilling their dreams. To better understand, these mountain rural people don’t get as much support. For me to see and participate in the part of the trip was a first.
To get to this community, at times, team members had to walk instead of drive! The road was terrible, but we made the sacrifice because of our deep desire to share. The team prayed for the people, as well as gave medicine and other items. They were very grateful and appreciative! It was a big “God Moment” for me and I enjoyed every single bit of it. My “first list”, at this point, was piling up.
It was an experience that I will never forget! I was so happy I got the opportunity to go on the trip, be part of making a difference, explore and learn many new things (firsts). One of my favorite mottos that I used before this trip was this- BE THE CHANGE! If there is a team or organization that I could serve and better equip myself for ministry and leadership, you can find my contact information below.
Let me end by going to God’s Word:
In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
"What is impossible with man is possible with God." Luke 18:27
TRISTON “BIBER” BENNETTE firstname.lastname@example.org
Or contact AHMEN attp://www.honduranmissions.com/