“For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.” – Romans 9:19-21.

How many times have you been in a situation where you’re talking about something spiritual? Or you just finished serving somebody, and then it happens; chills run all up and down your arms, or even your entire body. Goosebumps appear. Or is it a tingling sensation? Or electricity? Or joy? Or an aha moment? You pause to reflect and you wonder to yourself; did I just experience a God thing or a God moment?

Often, Christians find themselves in a spiritual rut. They feel like God just isn’t there? At some point in our spiritual walk, we all become discouraged and feel this way. So what is the antidote, what can you do? What should you do? There is no simple answer to those questions. Everybody is different and experiences God in different ways. From my experience, one way God makes his presence known in powerful ways is while serving on a short-term mission trip.

Many people go on these trips as a means of feeling good about themselves. They spend a few days, do some good things, have some good experiences, then go home and continue their normal life. Sometimes people go on the trip in hopes that God would show Himself to them. God seems distant and they hope that this trip would rebuild the connection that had once been so strong. And then something happens, usually in the first day or two; God shows up. There’s a dynamic that takes place when a bunch of people are tired, worn out, and exhausted from a day’s work in serving together on a mission for something far greater than themselves.

When I attended a trip to Kenya, I was ready for Jesus to transform lives, but little did I know, he would use people of Kui and these experiences to change mine. We were doing what God created us to do. Love others. Serve others. Sacrifice for others. That produces goosebumps that will stay with you for a long time.

Everyone told me before I left that they could not wait to hear all about it when I got back, and when I got back, I had a hard time putting into words how I felt about my trip. Words simply just do not give justice to God’s presence through the mission experience. I got a glimpse into a small piece of what God’s love truly looks like and how I should try to love. I learned that I need to love more like the people of Kenya, where actions really do speak louder than words. I need to love complete strangers more freely in a reflection of God’s true love. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are some ways we can sense the presence of God? What are some areas that we can expect goose bumps?
  2. What in your mind is the real value of short-term mission trips? 
  3. Is there a missionary or local ministry reaching the lost that you can pray for regularly? Is there an unsaved people group, locally, or globally, that you can be praying for regularly?