These first days of our mission trip, we have been living in an apartment complex very similar to the one where I live at back home. It’s a two-bedroom apartment with a kitchen, living room, bathroom and even a TV. The only difference is that I do not have as many distractions as I would in my apartment back home.
Another similarity that we have—and many of us have—is our neighbors, those people we see every morning and sometimes throughout the day. However, there are some slight differences with these neighbors. For example, they tend to dress in very vivid colors with different kind of fabrics. Also, they have a very strong accent, which means certain times we have a third guest that translates for us—something that does not happen very often back home.
We came here with the mindset of a “missionary.” For us, we think of it as an experience in which you prepare beforehand with more prayer, read the Bible, have more accountability and then proceed turn on your “missionary switch.” In other words, your life changes drastically—you can endure harder stuff, you greet the people that you see daily, you try new things and new kinds of clothing, you are in harmony while serving with your teammates, and you are obedient when working with your supervisors.
Don’t get me wrong. These are things that we can and should do if we are in Christ and his word abides in us. However, being a missionary and attempting to reach people makes us realize there is no such thing as a switch that you can turn on and off. The things that we do in our daily life and the intentions behind our actions are going to demonstrate whether we are abiding in the words of Christ and his commandments. We don’t have to do something extraordinary to have a missionary mindset. We simply must be faithful where we are living and glorifying God in our daily lives.
Brayant Lopez, a student at the University of Texas-El Paso, is serving with Go Now Missions in Phoenix, Ariz., in a ministry to refugees and immigrants.