Hello everyone! (sadly, hello for the last time)
Unfortunately, our trip has come to an end. It has been a whirlwind of an experience, a trip to remember, and I have learned so much about God during this time. It is hard to know what to say about this three week trip that impacted me so much. I wish I could share all of my stories, all of the experiences, and emotions that I had.
I wish that I had one giant lesson to speak about for this trip but I am not sure I could pick one. I have realized that maybe that was the point of this trip. When I first started processing this trip at the beginning of the semester, I asked God to shake me up and do something major in my life. I expected to be shaken greatly and to have a huge life-changing experience. Isn’t that how we all imagine God works best? 😉 As the trip was winding down I realized that I had not had a life changing moment and my life was not switched upside down. While I was convicted deeply about things, I was disappointed that God had not moved in the way I imagined He would. I then realized that just because I assumed I knew the way God would work doesn’t mean that it is the way He planned on working. As I looked back on the trip I see that God did the exact opposite that I expected Him to. (He loves to keep us on our toes that way) He moved in the little things.
The little moments in this trip was where I saw God the most and where I learned the most. He was in the small child that screamed and ran around laughing, He was in the old men on the street conversing with friends, he was in the broken English conversations that taught me more patience than I knew I had. He was in the beggars on the street, he was in the shop owner that we passed everyday on our way home, He was in the refugee women that laugh and drink more tea than I thought was possible. He was in the other American girl that we met randomly and talked with for an hour and He was in the silence of the night when we were more tired than ever. God taught me how to love even when the people didn’t love me back, He showed up in the joy of the refugee that gave us food that they barely had for themselves. God taught me how to be more committed to my faith and challenged me to take my faith more seriously by seeing families risk everything to come and get a Bible. God was in the sacrifice of the workers who give everything to this ministry. He was in my teammates as we all laughed and cried together. This is what I learned. I learned the everyday things that we seem to take for granted as we walk through our lives is where God is the most. He showed me how I need to take my faith more seriously and how I should show unconditional love.
We expect God to move in the big ways. We wait for Him to show up and save the day with some miracle. While He does do that, maybe we should start to realize that maybe God isn’t swooping in to move in big ways because He would prefer to use us to reach the lost and broken. This trip is not one that I will soon forget. It is something that I will take with me throughout my entire life. It has made me want to travel more and also reach the people in my community and worldwide.
I thank God for my teammates who were encouraging and have grown to be family. (Love you guys!) I thank God for the people who we worked with and the people that we met. Thank you to everyone who prayed for us as we were in Greece! We could not have done this without you. If you get the chance and want to ask me more about the trip I would love to talk about it!
Thanks for reading our blog! We are headed back to the States now and we pray that you all have a wonderful summer!
Taylor Mabry 🙂
P.S. Greece needs no filter.
June 1, 2018 at 3:22 pm
Yes, the end of the JG trip can be difficult – especially when you look back and see how the Lord has helped you and all the “little things” you learned while there. Of course, the great news is that the God who is alive and well there, is also in your home and in Haviland. You wrote, “It has made me want to travel more and also reach the people in my community and worldwide.” Even as God has helped you to see people and circumstances in new ways while there, it is not a bad thing to pray that He will help you to have fresh eyes for people and opportunities for the gospel here. We need more and more young adults to catch that vision for the harvest both in this country and the world! Thanks again for representing the Lord and Barclay College!