At Adventures in Missions, we mobilize thousands of missionaries every year. Many of our staff members are former World Racers or trip participants who love to be on the field. They sacrifice their ability to be on the field in order to send another generation of missionaries out each year. Caitlin Roberson, of our January 2012 E Squad, touches on the choice between staying and going and why she chooses to stay.
In May, I went to the World Race training camp. It was held at a retreat center a little over an hour from the Adventures in Missions office — the same location of my own training camp. A flood of memories hit me as soon as I set my feet on that red Georgia dirt.
There was where I pitched my tent. There was where I first met my team. There was where I had my first emotional breakdown (like all World Racers do). I sat in the back of the pavilion during worship looking back at the fearful girl who stood there almost three years ago.
She is long gone. I learned so much through the Race, and if you can believe it, even more at the Adventures office.
Standing in the middle of the next generation of Racers, an unrequited sense of action rose up inside me, as it often does. I want to be one of them again! I want to go! I want to hold the orphans and look into the faces of the widows. I want to sweat, get dirty and not know what is coming around the bend.
There are many called to go and few who answer. And so I go.
I go back to the office on Monday morning to answer e-mails and look up passports and find lodging for youth groups. I know there are few who go, but there are even fewer who stay. We sent out thousands of missionaries every year. there are only 150 of us in the office. Because it is hard. It is harder to stay.
To be honest, some days I must talk myself into believe my job is important. I know missions change lives. The trips I took as a teenager led me to the Race, which both broke me and freed me. Without the people in the offices, that wouldn’t have been possible. So I am grateful for all who have helped send me. I am thankful for those who have not gone themselves, who have sacrificed personal interactions and the ministry and the travel to send others.
My job is to send over 100 teenagers to serve in 8 countries this summer. I talk to thousands of students and parents. There are only two of us who work with this program and it can be exhausting most days, but I believe in them and I believe they will change the world. It was a high school mission trip that first got me started in missions over ten years ago.
This is a new side of missions for me and God is teaching me a lot through it all. I am getting the feeling that I will be in missions for a long time, whatever it looks like.
My job is important. I believe in this next generation and I believe they need to be raised up as a generation that loves and serve God with all of their heart. That is why I stay.