Go With An Open Heart
By Andrew Henley
This summer I was granted the opportunity to go serve at the Hope Alive Church in Japan for five weeks. Japan has always been somewhere I have wanted to go, and I was ecstatic to be given that opportunity. While I was in Japan, the Hubbards made sure that I got to experience as much of day-to-day missionary life as possible. From standing out on the streets doing “Let’s Speak English” to being involved with the college group on Wednesday, I was always doing something that they themselves would be doing. Every Sunday I was involved in a different form of ministry at the church. From doing the welcome at the beginning of the service to preaching for the very first time, the team at Hope Alive made sure that I was given as many opportunities to serve as possible.
I think that anytime I have gone on a mission trip, I have tried to keep an open mind about what I would learn. This trip however really opened my horizons to how important missions is in other countries. It also showed me that people need to have the right intentions about going and doing missions in other countries as well. I feel like a lot of Christians today have lost sight of our calling. As Christians, we are all called to share the gospel, whether that is in our own neighborhood or across the world. This was drilled into me during my time in Japan, not by people saying that, but by them showing it. Hope Alive Church is focused on sharing the love of Jesus with people who so desperately need it. Day after day, I saw missionaries who were dedicated to sharing the cause of Christ and not the cause of man. I saw people who were not focused on the progression of themselves, but the progression of Christ in the lives of others. While I did learn a lot of different things there, I would say that the most important thing I learned was a simple reminder that we are to share the gospel with everyone and not get sidetracked by the things that do not really matter.
If there is anyone who is considering applying for CMP, please do it! It will allow you to experience what it is like to be a missionary. You will see how the gospel is shared in different cultures. Most importantly, I am confident you will see the need for the gospel in other countries. Go with an open heart. Go with the intention of learning what God has planned for you. I promise if you do these things, you will come back from your CMP trip with far more than you ever thought possible.