I Didn’t Think I Was Good Enough to be a Missionary

High school student Caroline Smith always loved hearing stories about mission trips. But she didn’t think she was good enough to be a missionary herself. She thought she was too young, too afraid, and even too insignificant to do something so amazing.

Then God called her to GO on an Ambassador trip to Swaziland, and she discovered life beyond her wildest dreams.

When I was in elementary school, I never would have imagined God would choose me for the mission field.

I was always intrigued by the missionaries who visited my church. Their lives seemed so exotic and so adventurous, but the idea of me being a missionary was beyond my wildest dreams.

I believed that I was too young, too scared, too insignificant for something so amazing.

But God knew otherwise.

As I grew up, the Lord stirred in me a passion and a calling for international missions. I went on several short term trips, but a still, small voice promised me that the Lord had even more in store. I just had to be patient and wait for His timing.

Then, I heard about Adventures in Missions. The trip for high school students to Swaziland immediately caught my eye. I never even looked at the trips to other countries.

The trip sounded amazing, but it seemed the world had a thousand reasons as to why I shouldn’t go: I had never heard of Swaziland. It was on the other side of the world. The price tag seemed huge. A month away from the people I love sounded scary. My parents would never say yes. I was going to be a senior so I should spend the summer working on college stuff, right?

Going to Africa for a month sounded like an impossible dream, not a reality. But God said GO.

Four months later I was in Manzini, Swaziland, surrounded by teammates who I love, overflowing with joy, hugging precious children, and filled with the Lord. I am so unbelievably grateful that God said GO.

This is the adventure of a lifetime. It’s better than I could have ever dreamed. I am learning so much. And every day, I am reminded that my God is so incredibly good.

On our first day of ministry, any doubt that Africa wasn’t where I was supposed to be was completely taken away. As we got off the bus at the Carepoint for the first time, the kids ran straight up to us, fighting to be held or even hold our hands. These preschoolers had the biggest smiles, the most contagious laughter, and the goofiest sense of humor.

As I sat there in the dirt, one girl played with and pulled my hair, a boy messed with my shoelaces, two kids sat in my lap, and another boy sat by my side holding my hand. In the midst of apparent chaos and surrounded by dirt, I was filled with unspeakable joy. I was beyond content.

This was exactly where God wanted me to be.

One day at a Carepoint, I held a girl, Notando*, who seemed even worse off than the rest of the kids. She was so gentle and so beautiful, and my heart broke for her. As she sat there eating the only meal she would have all day, I just began praying over her and her future. I prayed that she would grow up to know and love the Lord and that His fruit would be so abundant in her life. I prayed that He would take care of her every need.

Then, Notando did something that took my breath away.

This sweet girl offered her food to me.

Notando saw I wasn’t eating (even though I am very well fed) and was willing to give up all she had just so that I could eat a little. In that moment, I was nearly brought to tears as I was once again reminded of God’s goodness and generosity. I saw Him in this young girl, but I also saw who God wanted me to be: generous, kind, and selfless.

It’s crazy to me that ever since I was young, God has been walking with me on a journey that has led me to where I am now. Every step of the way, He was there, preparing my heart and opening doors for this trip and for what’s to come.

When I am living in Him and His plan, my life is a dream—the best possible dream. It’s life to the fullest.

God wants to give each person this same life. He wants to take each person on a journey beyond their wildest dreams. Because here’s the cool thing: God’s love knows no age, no social class, no gender, no culture, no language, no disability. God’s love is for all people. What an amazing reminder.

My God is so good, and I am so grateful.

*not her real name. 

We have an exciting announcement: All 2017 Ambassador trips are open!

If you are a high school student and want to go on a mission trip next summer, you could raft the Amazon Jungle to share the Gospel with local tribes, help run a camp in Albania, play with orphans in Africa, join a sports ministry in the Philippines, or adventure on a guys-only trip to Nepal.

CLICK HERE to read all the opportunities of how you (or a student you know!) can GO!