nervous excitement

so i’ve always wanted to go on an international mission trip. i’ve always been nervous about money, food, different cultures, who i would go with, etc, yet sometime in the fall bill davis (the pastor) at my home church announced he would be leading a trip to guatemala this may and at first i was like ‘that sounds fun, i’d love to do that and go with someone i know’, but then my thoughts turned into ‘well thats expensive, the food is different, what if i get sick, its only a week what can i really do in a week, i don’t even know spanish, etc etc’ and i convinced myself not to go and that i was just being ridiculous.

every time i have convinced myself not to go, God has put little signs in my life telling me ‘i’ll be there’ and comforting me about the things i feel completely uncomfortable about regarding this trip. i’m still terribly nervous, but i really feel called to go on this trip. it makes me nervous writing this because i am a very ocd person and especially about food, i like to know what i’m going to eat and i like to know there will be food i eat otherwise i fear getting sick, and sometimes do, but i trust that if He is calling me to go on this trip (which i feel like He is) then surely He will calm my fears and help me through these problems, i mean He is God after all.

so in deciding to go, i had to decide how to get the money to go, the typical thing to do is write a letter to send to family and friends. i’ll be sending those out this week, and i wanted to share my letter with you.

here goes…

January 25, 2008

Dear friends

My home church (Long Hollow Baptist-Gallatin) is taking a mission trip to Guatemala this May (16th-23rd) and I would love to be a part of this opportunity to share my faith and love those in need as God has loved me. The trip will include splitting our time between serving at an orphanage in Guatemala City and traveling to a small city, Jolapa, to help out on construction projects and medical relief efforts. I have never been on an international mission trip, but have been on several trips around the country.

Last summer I traveled to Gulfport, Mississippi to help out with construction projects and lead Vacation Bible School at a local church. Over my Fall Break from MTSU, I was part of a small group of students who traveled to Harlan County, Kentucky to Cranks Creek Survival Center to work in a very rural, low income community with a blind, yet passionate older gentleman who has dedicated his life to enriching the lives of his community in whatever manner he can. His center repairs and builds homes for homeless elderly folks, donates clothes to needy children, and blesses the lives of all who are involved.

Both of these trips have deepened my passion for community service and living out God’s calling to all Christians to serve and deeply love everyone around us. I’ve recently finished reading Shane Claiborne’s “Irresistible Revolution” and Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love.” Both of these books have not only deepened my passion for Christ, but have shown me that we are not called to sit on the sidelines living lukewarm lives, but to serve, even if that means getting out of our comfort zone. A verse Francis mentioned in his book spoke to me deeply about the value of serving everyone, especially those with the greatest needs:

Then the King will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me.’
Matthew 25:40 (New Century Version)

As I said before, I have never been on an international mission trip, nor have I been outside of the country, much less to a Spanish speaking country, however, I deeply feel God calling me to go on this trip in May, no matter how far out of my comfort zone it may be. To be completely honest, I am nervous about how everything will work out, yet each time I come up with excuses of reasons not to go (different food, different language, too expensive, etc.), I find God giving me little reminders about how He will be by my side guiding me and getting me through every struggle I encounter and will provide a way for me to go if I just trust in Him.

I think that this trip would be a great experience for me to go and serve those in need somewhere I have never been where I am completely outside of my comfort zone. I feel that it is in times like that where we feel ourselves leaning completely into Him because we don’t know what to do on our own. Although I may not speak Spanish or have ever been to their country, I feel God calling me to go serve and love these people and be His hands and feet in a city desperately in need.

I am writing to ask you to invest in my life and support this ministry opportunity in whatever way you can: through prayer, through a financial investment, helping me learn a bit of Spanish or simply letting me borrow an international outlet converter. Every little investment and prayer is greatly appreciated!!

To contribute financially towards my costs ($1600), there are a few things to note in order to be sure that your contribution is coded for my trip and giving credit for you. Yes, your contribution is tax-deductible. Please make your check payable to Long Hollow Baptist Church. On the memo line, write Guatemala Mission and enclose a separate note stating “please use this contribution toward the (location) Mission trip costs for Kim Louvin.” Your check can be mailed to Long Hollow Baptist Church, Attn: Dana Guy, 3031 Long Hollow Pike, Hendersonville, TN 37075. Funds received that exceed my trip costs will be applied to Long Hollow missions.

I appreciate every little prayer and investment you make in my life and ask you to pray for the members of this missions team that we would selflessly be God’s hands and feet in Guatemala this coming May.

Thank you so much,

Kimberly Louvin


One comment on “nervous excitement

  1. Whitney says:

    I smiled when I read this. First because I’m happy you’re getting an opportunity to go. But also because I’m currently debating how to do something also mission-related, although more of home missions, regarding an extremely controversial subject.The verse I keep coming back to is the very same one you’ve quoted. The least of these. I think sometimes we don’t realize the enormity of this term. I found myself wondering, “Who do I truly consider the least of these?” Who, in my mind, resides as completely untouchable? This caused me to ask myself what I found the most valuable in my own life, with the logic that whoever does not have that in theirs.. that is the least of these. I realized that I value relationships the most. I honestly feel I could make it without everything else and retain my sanity. But if I lost every single person I know and love, that is what would transform me into the least of these. What would be worse is if I was the one responsible for their abandonment. I found that for me, it isn’t children in foreign countries or the homeless in Nashville. It’s those who we view as unworthy of redemption. Whose sins are so great, we view them as unforgivable. Anyways, I should stop now because I haven’t even talked to Josh about this yet. hah But very happy for you 🙂

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