This I Believe

Kayla - LaFollette, Tennessee
Entered on May 1, 2006

Finding Friendship in a Stranger

A couple of years ago, my youth group went on a mission trip to Jekyll Island, Georgia. Our mission was to help make an orphanage living facility a much cleaner place to live. Our mission was not really to work one on one with the children as it was to provide facilities for them to better improve their lives. My first thought about the idea was that it would only take a couple of hours and then I could go lay on the beach. My idea of what it was going to be like drastically changed. The first day was hot and humid; I thought to myself, “This is not going to be fun.” The organizers of the mission came out and organized us into groups; this was going to be our group for the rest of the week. Our first task was hard labor, cleaning out a field of dirt and leaves, so they could have more land to begin building. After the first day I began to ask God what my purpose there was; soon after that I realized clearly what it was.

There were several churches doing the same thing that we were, but one particular man stood out. His name was Mark and he was very loud, hard working, and in my group. One of the first things he asked me was, “What is your favorite bible verse?” I just froze, mumbling out nonsense. I began to think I was not ready for such a big mission as this, because I was not a very vocal person and got embarrassed very easily. Mark, having no clue who I was, besides where I was from and what my name was, began to talk to me as if he had knew me forever. Mark reached out to me in a way I would have never expected and truly showed me the meaning of what the mission was all about.

Our youth group did bible studies twice a day just for our group. The one night I had to teach bible study Mark suddenly showed up just after I had began. I felt an instant relief when he was there, as if God had purposely placed him in the Gazebo where we were having our bible study. I know Mark did not even think twice about coming up to speak to me. He not only connected with me, but he connected with my whole youth group, by relating to us individually.

I believe God allowed that mission trip not only to better improve the orphan living facilities, but allow me to learn and grow emotionally and spiritually. I know I will probably never see Mark again, but he will live in my heart as the person who God brought into my life that hot and humid week in Georgia. I believe every person you meet in life is not accidental, but to teach lessons of faith. This I believe.