I never expected to go on a Gardner-Webb sponsored mission trip. Yet here I was, on a plane to Albuquerque, New Mexico and then hopping on a van to drive up the mountains to Taos.
I went on the trip to Taos because I wasn’t going to get to go on a mission trip with my home church to Memphis, Tennessee. I had been on the trip every year since sixth grade, so I was wanting to “fulfill my Christian duty” as I thought it were, by going on a yearly trip. I had also never been west of the Mississippi River unless you count a five minute stay in West Memphis, Arkansas.
On this trip I met some interesting people, including Benny and Edna Romero, two Taos Pueblo Indians who took a step of courage and instead of following their parents footsteps, started the First Indian Church of Taos, New Mexico.
I also met Glen Strock, pastor of the Pecos Valley Cowboy Church, a man who spent years as a wayward artist wandering around the United States until he felt God calling him to start a church for cowboys in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico.
I built relationships and made new friends with my fellow Gardner-Webb students and leaders. We worked hard together, sweating in the Western sun, putting out mulch, painting sheds, cleaning a church, and moving that stupid washing machine (Kyle Medlin, you’ll appreciate this).
We also hosted a worship time for children at the First Indian Church. While the kids were…let’s just say crazy, we had a lot of fun playing games, singing songs, and learning bible verses. In fact, one child gave his life to Christ that night, making it all worth it!
Going into this trip, I just thought I’d be doing another mission trip because I am a minister’s kid and that’s what I’m supposed to do, but I was able to forge relationships with my peers at Gardner-Webb and grow closer to the Lord. I loved it so much, I went back a second time!
If anyone at Gardner-Webb is cautious about going on a mission trip with the school, I say go for it! You’ll make new friends, meet interesting people and you’ll grow in your walk with God.
Romans 10:13-14 says “for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
Be the ones that go out and preach, because it may take a group of college students from a school in the tiny town of Boiling Springs, North Carolina going thousands of miles across the United States or the world to tell people the good news.
Richard Martin is a senior Broadcast Journalism Major from Gaffney, South Carolina. He is a volunteer student assistant with the Gardner-Webb football team, and is a member of Campus Ministries United