By Katia Snyder, Go Now missionary and student at Tyler Junior College
This summer I had the desire to go on a mission trip but I didn’t know which one would be the right for me. I looked at different mission trip programs but they didn’t really stand out to me. That all changed when I went to BSM at Tyler Junior College. They had a Go Now Missions booklet of all their mission trips and I thought I would check it out. I found the page with the mission trip to Ukraine and I thought, “Wow, this it! It involves kids and shoes and I love both of them.” It also was close to my heart because I was adopted from a Russian orphanage.
It felt so right and everything fell into place. I truly put all my trust into God with this trip. God amazed me once again with what He can do if I trust in Him. God blessed me in so many ways throughout the mission trip by giving me an incredible team that worked so well together and was encouraging to one another.
One memory that stood out to me was when our team couldn’t get shoes to one orphanage until later that week. The reason was that the truck that had all the shoes couldn’t go on the road leading to the orphanage because it was too difficult to get through with all the branches in the way. So we as a team decided we would still go on to the orphanage in the van and let the organization give them the shoes later that week. We thought it would still be a good idea to see the kids and pass out bracelets and candy and tell them all about our amazing God.
They were so joyful to see us and were interested in hearing more about God. We were able to give them lots of hugs and high fives. The kids, unfortunately, don’t get too many visitors because of how isolated the orphanage is. Our leader talked to the director and said how sorry we were that we didn’t have the shoes with us at the moment and explained to her that we will have the shoes later that week. She responded back that the best gift was having us see the kids and spend time with them. That brought tears to my eyes because that is an amazing gift that sometimes we tend to forget about.
During the holiday times, we get so caught up on tangible gifts that we lose sight of the gift of quality time with one another. This is one of my fondest memories of the mission trip to Ukraine and one of the best gifts I have personally received.