I was super-sad to leave Manchester. I had grown to love the missionaries, my teammate, the church I attended and the non-Christians I had befriended. I was flying back to Texas alone.
I was tired from staying up late saying goodbyes to everyone, and I had an early-morning flight. By the time I got on my flight from London to Texas, I was ready to sleep, watch movies and just shut out the rest of the world for the next 10 hours. That was not God's plan for my flight.
Even before the plane took off, I was comfy in my seat with my neck pillow. Then the cutest 2-year-old sat right next to me. I thought, “Well, there goes my sleep." When I started talking to her, I realized I had a bad attitude and reminded myself God has a purpose for everything.
A chance to explain
The little girl and her mom were so sweet. I found out that the mom was a refugee from South Sudan who came to America and then eventually moved to London with her family. I had so much fun playing with the little girl. We colored, watched movies and played games on her iPad.
Her mom asked me what I had been doing in England, and I told her that I had spent the last six weeks volunteering with a Christian charity. She asked more about my trip and was surprised that at such a young age I would give up my summer to volunteer with a charity. I told her the reason giving up my summer was so worth it. I explained to her that God loves me, Jesus died on the cross for me, and I want to share that love with the world.
1 Peter 3:15
As I sat on that plane playing with such a sweet girl and discussing God's love with her mother, I was reminded of 1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."
On that plane ride, God gave me the opportunity to explain the reason for the hope I have. It was amazing how God gave me the chance to reach the nations while sitting on a 10-hour flight. What God had planned for that flight was so much better than plans I had. While my mission trip was over, God showed me I don't have to be on a “trip" or have the title of “missionary" to be able to share God's truths and love with people.
Kristen, a student at Texas A&M University-Commerce, served with Go Now Missions in Manchester, England.