The Five Things I Learned on My First Mission to Rhode Island

As a teenager, I was withdrawn and stayed mostly to myself. Even though I had a close group of friends from elementary school, meeting new people was scary to me until I joined my high school youth group. I got to mix and mingle with many people and go on my first mission trip to Rhode Island in 2007 as a rising sophomore in high school. On the trip to Rhode Island, I got to learn five invaluable things about myself and the Christian faith I would never forget.

The five things I learned about myself and the Christian faith was to not be afraid and say “hello” to someone new, God has a plan and purpose for your life, God will never fail you, it’s okay to be vulnerable, and the importance of giving back to those less fortunate and team work. A note that I would never forget came from my Youth Director, Pam, which said, “Dear Allistar, I’m so glad you came on the mission trip! You’re sweet, gentle personality, is a wonderful thing. You have a good heart and you’re on a faith journey that will take you amazing places. I’m glad we’ve all gotten to know you better this past week. Stay sweet! I love you, Pam.” This letter reminded that my faith journey will take me far and wide and new places.

Once I said my first “hello” to someone new, I started a conversation and made a new friend. As I said hello, I was scared and nervous that the other person wasn’t going to say hello back to me but they did. I was so grateful to have their “hello” said back to me that I was able to make a new friend and form a new connection.

The second thing I learned was that God has a plan and purpose for my life. During the time God thought of you, he had your life marked which is pretty incredible. He knew the number of hairs on your head, your personality, skills and abilities, family, and people you would meet.

The third thing taught me that God will never fail you. God will not let you sit back and fail. He will carry you and lift you through the difficulties of life.

The fourth thing taught me that it’s okay to be vulnerable. That you can express your authentic self without fear of judgment. Being vulnerable does not make you weak but brave.

The last thing taught me to give back to the less fortunate and team work. It does the heart good to give back to others that don’t have as many things or resources as you do so they can have a better life. Team work is essential to building leadership skills and a successful career.

Published by Allistar Banks-Author

Allistar Banks is a multi-genre author of several books ranging from children to young adult fiction. A Professional Pet Sitter by day, novelist by night, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications from Lander University. A McCormick, SC native, she is a lover of southern cuisine, the mountains, local art, and history.

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