“Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us.” -Keith Wright
East-West is on a five-year mission to multiply one million disciples in the world’s spiritually darkest places—because the unreached matter to God. We know this task requires more workers, so our ministry goals include mobilizing 1,000 annual short-term mission trip participants.
During these short-term mission trips hundreds of people hear the gospel for the first time, and many respond … finding new life in Jesus. But they’re not the only ones who are transformed.
The hearts of those proclaiming God’s message of salvation return home forever changed after experiencing the Holy Spirit use them to redeem hearts among the unreached.
We asked some of our recent trip participants to answer a few questions about their experience overseas. Here’s what they had to say:
What was it like sharing the gospel in a different culture?
“It was actually very freeing. It freed me from some of the things I struggle with here in sharing the gospel, like fear of man issues and tripping on my own words. Having a translator allowed for time between thoughts to really think about what I was about to say.” –Tyler, Latin America
“It was much easier than I thought it would be. Partly because I had an interpreter with me, but mostly because I went to areas filled with people who were curious about what a tall, white guy had to say about anything.” –Don, South Asia
What is the biggest thing you learned during your mission trip?
“Many immigrants who are Muslims in Europe are cultural Muslims, even if they were devoted before. One guy even told us he didn’t want to be Muslim anymore. Once they were out of their cultural surroundings, they were more open to new ideas like the gospel.” –Janet, Europe Muslim Initiative Team
“I learned that it’s not up to me to save anyone. That is that Holy Spirit’s job. My role is simply obeying Christ’s final command to share the gospel and trust that He will use my obedience to make Himself known.” –Meredith, Latin America
What is your favorite mission trip memory?
“My translator and I sat in a small room with an 83 year old man who walked three hours through the foothills of the Himalayas to get to work. He had never heard of Jesus before. I used an EvangeCube to share the gospel with him, and when we got to the picture of Jesus Christ on the Cross he took it out of my hand and examined it. I could tell the photo really impacted him. That day he did not choose to follow Jesus. However, I could tell that the message we shared really stirred his heart. We left him a Bible written in his language and I continue to pray he will come to know the Lord soon!” –Chelsea, South Asia Extreme Team
“I had always believed in miracles and the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome darkness, but I’d never seen it firsthand. When I went to Latin America, I met a little girl who was plagued with demonic activity—she would hear voices telling her to do evil things. My translator and I, along with two other team members, laid hands on the girl and prayed in boldness for Jesus to deliver her. Instantly, we saw a change in her eyes and countenance. With my own eyes, I’d watched the Holy Spirit break the bondage of darkness!” –Rebecca, Latin America
Briefly describe your mission trip experience.
“Whenever I came back from other mission trips I would always say something along the lines of ‘this trip changed my life,’ but for this East-West trip I would say something a little different. On this trip, God used me to changed lives, and that is what it is all about! Back in America my mindset has completely changed towards evangelism and the urgent need to share Christ.” –Brooke, Latin America
“For many years, I only went on mission trips that used very specific platforms that removed me from having to share the gospel. I liked it that way. I could do the fun part and let others do the awkward part, but this trip didn’t let me hide behind others. I had to actually initiate conversations and share the gospel with those we met. It really taught me to lean on the Lord when talking about Him and put others’ eternities before my own comfort. So I’m really grateful for that experience that I want it to keep pushing me every day.” –Kate, Europe Muslim Initiative Team