My name is Lily Underwood, and I’m an 8th grader in the Student Ministry at The Church at Brook Hills. I’m the youngest in my family of 5 kids, and I’ve grown up watching my parents and several siblings go on numerous mission trips all my life. My parents even met on a mid-term mission trip on the other side of the world.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to go on a mission trip. When I was five, my friend Molly and I began saving all our money for a trip in a giant pickle jar! Unfortunately, since our parents didn’t really give allowances, we only saved about $40 dollars or so, but we never lost hope. Finally, in seventh grade, we were old enough to go on a trip with the Student Ministry to Clarkston, GA.

In preparation for the trip, our team prepared to do Rock the Block with families in the Clarkston International Village. This is an area where refugees from many nations live, so I learned about different cultures and world religions before the trip. I also wrote my testimony and weaved it with the Gospel threads because I would be sharing it during our Rock the Block. During our planning meetings, we divided responsibilities for Bible studies, games, testimonies, and crafts. We also spent time praying for the people we would meet, as well as asking God to prepare us for what He had in store.

After a few months of prep, we finally departed for Atlanta. Our team was more than a little excited, and I had certain expectations for the trip. I knew we would meet some wonderful people, have some exciting adventures, share the Gospel, and build relationships with each other (and also get very little sleep!). But there were some other things that I experienced and saw that I didn’t anticipate. These turned out to be the most meaningful and impacting experiences of my trip:

  • I went to share the Gospel with unreached people, but we met other Christians who really encouraged us. We met this sweet Christian family from the Congo. We sang songs with them, they prayed over us, and spurred us on in our faith and mission. I left them filled with joy, and feeling better than I had in a long time, comforted by the faith and love they had portrayed.

  • Visiting the Hindu Temple made me realize the hopelessness of people without Christ. We had the opportunity to visit a Hindu Temple, and our tour guide told us all about how wonderful India was and how the Hindu religion offered such peace. When we could ask questions, one student asked if he ever worried about not being good enough to go to “heaven”. He quickly responded that he worried everyday, and this is what drove him to work so hard to be better—fear was his motivation. This made my heart so heavy, because he knew nothing of God’s love or the hope that is in Christ Jesus.

I am so thankful for my first mission trip, and I’ll be returning again this summer to Atlanta with the Student Ministry. I look forward to many more opportunities to go and serve as God leads me.

Through the Global Offering students like Lily are able to go on Short-Term mission at a discounted rate. The generosity of our faith family helps prioritize sending students to learn how to share the gospel and make disciples among all nations. Students like Lily learn at a young age what it means to live life on mission not only in her context but in other contexts around the world.

Give online to the GLOBAL OFFERING.