Saying Yes: Trip Reflections from Emily Schaafsma

Cleaning teeth in the dental clinics on March 2, 2020.

This was my first international mission trip, so to say I was a little nervous was an understatement. I was going to a country that I have never been to before, with people I didn’t know very well, and had to brush up on a language that I didn’t know very much of.

When Lori told me about this trip, I was a little bit apprehensive but felt excited all at the same time. I felt like God was telling me to “just say yes.”

I am so glad I said yes.

What God Calls Us To

This experience as a whole has been one of the most humbling and fulfilling times of my life. I was given the opportunity to help give medical/dental care, which is something we take for granted in the US. I loved being able to connect with the people and show them the love of Jesus. For most of the week, I kept thinking of the passage in John chapter 13 where Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. “If I then, your Master and Rabbi, have washed your feet, it is also your duty to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example in order that you may do what I have done to you” (John 13:14 – 15). Doing what God calls us to do, whether it is literally washing feet, cleaning teeth, working construction, or anything else, is so humbling and truly allows you to look at the world in a different way.

While we did a lot of work serving the Lord and the people of Honduras, I feel like I also gained from it as well.

New Perspectives

I gained a new perspective. Growing up in the USA, I never really appreciated the things we have here until now. A lot of the people in Honduras don’t have nearly as much as the people in the US, but I noticed that a lot of them had so much more joy. Many people there are so involved in their community, hospitable, and willing to help each other and treat others as family. I felt so welcomed there. It really shows that you can be joyful no matter the place you’re in. The things of this world cannot compare to the joy that the Lord gives.

Love is not restricted to the language we speak, or the country we are in. It was amazing to make connections and build relationships with people when we only could communicate with “Spanglish” and the use of my good friend Google Translate :-). This trip has definitely fueled a desire for me to prioritize learning more Spanish.

In His Time

I also truly saw how well God plans everything in perfect time, because no less than a week before we returned home, there have been many shutdowns and cancellations due to the CoronaVirus outbreak. God brought us to Honduras and home in perfect timing.

I could go on and on about all of the amazing things that He has done through this trip.

Overall, I am so glad that I said yes. Being obedient when God calls you to do something is such a freeing feeling. If you’re on the fence–just say yes and trust that God has an amazing adventure in store for you!

Emily Schaafsma is a nursing student at Cornerstone University.