When I say leaving was hard … I mean leaving was hard.
When you and your roommate spend an entire month in a foreign country with no internet service or reception and are placed with two strangers to do missions together, you can only assume that strong relationships would be built, and you would be correct.
I have gone on mission trips before, and I had even gone to this particular country for one, but nothing could have prepared me for the intense — but beautiful — friendships I would gain.
The country of Zimbabwe is known to outsiders for its economic and political instability. To native Zimbabweans and anyone else living there, this country is incredibly peaceful.
From big cities to rural villages, Zimbabwe is filled with kind and honest people. Family relationships are truly the heart of this country, as the people in them find joy and laughter amongst brothers, sisters and friends.
It was an absolute privilege to get to go back to Zimbabwe this summer. Last time I went, I was only there for three weeks, and that didn’t feel like enough time. This time, we spent an entire month there, and the former statement is still true — our stay didn’t feel like we were there long enough.
Our team focused our energy on a particular agribusiness training center where people learn how to create their own businesses to thrive in an economic system that is hard to succeed in.
Our team led numerous events with both current and prospective participants at the center. We spent every waking moment with the incredible people around us and spent a lot of time getting to know quite a few of them. Each of us built relationships with different people, and in doing so created relationships centered around discipleship.
Our team went in expecting to teach ... but we came out having been the ones taught.
I truly believe we created lifelong relationships with the people my roommate and I met, especially in our team of four.
Quite honestly, though, I’ve come to learn the best way to reach others with the Gospel is through building relationships.
Studying apologetics, theology and archeology are all great things, but sometimes it’s getting to know someone that speaks more volumes of the Gospel than anything you could ever say.
Take the Great Commission, for example. Jesus himself emphasizes discipleship, so I would say that’s quite the hint at its importance.
I still talk to the friends I made there every day. I love how even after we’re gone, our relationships grow more and more.
I definitely can’t wait to move there in a year or two.