20 Years of HELP & HOPE: Trip Experiences
By GPPD Team | April 28 2023 | Return to Blog
As we prepare to celebrate 20 years as an organization on May 3, we asked our past trip members to share their most personally moving moments with us. We have been so overwhelmed with joy to hear how God has shaped the hearts of so many as they answered the call to GO.
Kristie R. (Jordan)
In the Spring of 2022, I was on the mission team sent to Jordan. Prior to going, my only knowledge of the Syrian and Iraqi refugee situation was from what little coverage I saw on the news. Growing up in SW Virginia offered me little experience with people who I saw as “other.” What I experienced changed not only my outlook on the world but more importantly, my place within it. Every morning and throughout each day, I prayed for the Holy Spirit to work in me – to give me His heart and to see those I came to help through Jesus’ eyes and not my own. His answer was not what I expected. On the way home, as I was looking at pictures of a potluck luncheon the Syrian women provided us, I noticed something that took my breath away. Amid all of the faces looking at the food or at each other in conversation, there was one woman who was looking at ME – not as an American Christian or someone who was “other,” but she was looking at me through eyes of love. I knew this was His answer to my prayer. It was Matthew 25:40 writ large “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these, brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ In God’s eyes, there is no “other,” for we are all loved and made in His image. He brought me out of my comfort zone, not just to be His hands and feet, but to have His heart as well.
Nancy Z. (South Asia)
We were running late. A quick stop at the hotel to freshen up took our arrival time from the expected 7:30pm to 9:30pm (if I remember correctly). It was our first big meeting after arriving in South Asia and I had no idea what to expect. As the team came near the building we saw people everywhere outside. But when we walked in the door it was like a parting of the Red Sea to allow us to walk to the front. As soon as the last person made their way past the crowd, the aisle closed back up again. They were all sitting on the concrete floor waiting for us to arrive, to hear a Word from God. Who knows how long they were waiting before the expected time of 7:30. I come from a culture that complains because they have too many things to do on Sunday to spend an hour in church or if the Pastor should run 5 minutes over. These people were so hungry to hear what God would say to them from these men from America that they waited for hours. That moment changed my life and is one I will never forget.
Sophia S. (Jordan)
This time last year when I went to Jordan was one of the greatest moments of my life! I will never forget going to peoples houses hearing their stories and what they went through to be in Jordan. Most of them were refugees from Iraq and Syria..they invited us into their homes and gave us tea and food. Most dishes were Jordanian but one family had made us a pizza! Jordan was an amazing experience. God really put it on my heart to go on that trip and I am so grateful and I hope to come back some day!
Woody F. (South Asia)
In January, 2017 I went with Matt and a group to South Asia. It was non-stop ministry activity. Every day was filled with visits to children's homes, village meetings, well dedications and ministry to widows. It was a very impactful experience, and the people captured my heart. Perhaps the most significant moment of the trip was our last day of ministry. Matt, the pastors and I travelled to a small village to do a well dedication. We met a beautiful older couple there who had been praying for years for a church to be established in their village. The well that we dedicated that day was the tool God used to answer their prayers. I came home with a burdened heart for these folks we met.