“What? We are going on a mission trip to where?!”
I remember those exact thoughts when I learned that our Fellows class was headed to my home state for a week-long mission trip. In fact, I probably laughed out loud. However, when our feet hit the ground in Chattanooga and I saw where we would spend the next several days, my opinion changed.
I knew that we didn’t have to go a third-world country across the globe to do a “missions trip”, but Chattanooga made it tangible. I never knew that I could be so oblivious to circumstances so close to home. This trip opened my eyes and filled with memories that I will never forget. We helped fix a house and move one of the ministry’s neighbors. We volunteered at a local afterschool program, put on a skit, and played a lot of basketball. And we worshipped with community members and heard their testimonies.
I lived overseas for over a year after college, and I am passionate about missions abroad. However, I believe now that we must be focused locally to impact our own communities. We do not have to look outside our own home, neighborhood, workplace, church, or schools to see the desperate need for Christ. My time in Chattanooga as a Fellow will always impact how I see my faith integrating with my daily life.