When my church’s Missions Pastor, Tyler Fuller, asked if I was interested in heading up a worship band to Budapest for a two-week mission trip helping with Summer English Camp, I had no idea the kind of impact it would make on me as I now sit here writing this blog in Vác, Hungary. There is no doubt that God moves in mysterious ways, but it still amazes me that I can be here to witness it firsthand—in my life, the lives of the volunteer staff, and most importantly, in the lives of the students that get to learn about English and Jesus.
I’ve been serving at Crosspoint United Methodist Church for more than two years, helping lead worship. When the time came to ask other musicians to come along on the trip to Hungary, I thankfully already had relationships with a big pool of amazingly talented vocalists, guitarists, and drummers to consider. God opened the door of opportunity to three individuals who had never gone on an overseas mission trip before, and the four of us formed our band.
It would be safe to say that, as musicians who regularly lead worship in church, music would be within our comfort zone. Therefore, one could assume that we did what we came to do—play music—and did it well. But if that was the only reason for this trip, then there would be no reason for me to write this!
It could be easy to focus on “the setbacks,” but *something* altogether scary and beautiful happens when a person is pushed outside of their comfort zone. This is absolutely what we experienced. We became tired. Got sick. Had no A/C and no privacy. There were cockroaches and bats in our rooms. We ran out of toilet paper (at least once a day).
BUT we did so much more than just play music. We participated in conversation groups. We played games and sports with kids. We helped plan and facilitate programs. We learned new songs and danced around and acted goofy. We had fun!
In the midst of all the fun, that *something* happened—we connected with students and staff members. We heard each other’s testimonies and shared our own. We were challenged and grew in our faith. We were broken individuals, scattered throughout the world (Northern Ireland, Scotland, Florida, Indiana, West Virginia), and we were able to come together to unite for the cause of spreading Christ’s love to His people. We became vulnerable and open. And we became something far more than what we could have ever become separately.
What is the most impactful thing that camp has taught you?
Nick: The *real* you is the most beautiful you; I’ve certainly come out of my shell a lot at camp. You never really know how God is working behind the scenes, and it always catches you by surprise when you do get a glimpse of the picture He is painting.
Jared: It’s incredible to see so many broken and whole stories come together for One God who loves us all the same, whether you have faith in that or not. For me, I have learned the power the Holy Spirit can bring into a room of those of different origins and tongues, and bring one language in worship: God’s Love for us.
Eric: This was my first ever mission trip. Being around such spiritual people and how we were able to come together so fast is a true testament to how having the power of Christ in your life can make an impact on others.
Building relationships is truly the glue that brings all the scattered pieces together to form a bigger picture. Sometimes we have to be pushed, but when it does happen, what a beautiful snapshot in time it can make!