Meanings of a Mission

Kenan - Apex, North Carolina
Entered on October 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that if you help someone out, the favor will be returned you. This happened when I went on a mission trip with my church. This experience changed my view of life completely. It changed my attitude from greed to unselfishness and made me want to become a better citizen, a better person.

Last summer my Youth Group from Church was going on a mission trip. I gave up a week of my summer to help a family down in Gulf Port, Mississippi. The long 13 hour car ride made me think about the trip, but I also didn’t know what I had gotten myself into. Once I got there, I found out that we were spending 1 week in MASH tents, NO air conditioning, NO bathrooms, showers in the back of a tractor trailer, port-a-johns and thinking to my self, it doesn’t get much better than this. The Youth Group unpacked and made their way to the tents. Later that night, we were told that we would be roofing all week. They also said all the other groups that had been there before us had lots of fun and that it had changed their life. All I could do was laugh because of the horrible environment we were in, compared to my couch, computer and television at home. I kept an open mind, my sprits high and I looked for the way they saw the situation. For 4 long days we worked hard on the roof in +110 degree weather, something I didn’t know my body was capable of doing. I only saw the father of the home once. The smile on his face, seeing the roof finished, after his house was almost destroyed made me think. This guy had nothing to live for because all his family had died recently, but he was working 3 jobs. I suddenly thought of all the different ways that I could help and how good I actually had it at home. The Youth Group finished the roof and I learned a valuable lesson on that trip. I learned to use my talents to help another man out. I was rewarded by the feeling of accomplishment as we finished the roof. Later, we toured Louisiana, the 6th Ward in New Orleans and the beaches of Gulf Port to see the destruction of a hurricane. It was amazing but sad to know how selfish everyone could be back home.

This event changed my life, way of thinking and my belief in myself. The Mission Trip gave me perseverance through the extreme difficulties, kindness towards people I didn’t even know and courage to do what’s right. I believe the meaning of a mission is the sense of accomplishment and reward you get when you help others regardless of what you get in return. All these are valuable qualities in becoming a better person and I plan to use them for the rest of my life.