MEET ABBY HUDSON: a change of plans led her to Ecuador, where serving in an orphanage showed her the joy that comes from serving others.
How did you feel called to serve in Ecuador?
It’s kind of a crazy story actually. About five years ago, I felt God calling me to full time ministry, specifically missions. I had planned to go intern in Haiti in the summer of 2018, but it ended up not working out the way I had originally planned. So, I heard that my cousin’s church was taking a mission trip to Ecuador, and I decided to take a leap of faith and go. I showed up to get on a bus to the airport and didn’t know a single soul other than my cousin who was also going. It ended up being so incredible, and I know now why God changed my plans of going to Haiti.
What did you learn about the Gospel while serving there?
I learned so much about the Gospel while serving at Casa de Fe. One thing that really stuck with me about the Gospel is the love that Christ has for us. Those kids came running to me with open arms from the second I arrived, and Jesus does the same thing for us. He is waiting with open arms for us to run to Him. It is such a beautiful thing to see the hope and the joy those kids have in their lives, even though they have been through so much.
How did serving in an orphanage impact you?
Serving at an orphanage really opened my eyes to the kind of lives some children have to live. I met one group of siblings that came from the home of a prostitute. She would send the oldest out to sell drugs while the two little girls sat in the bedroom with her while different men came and went. Another story I heard was of a little boy with special needs. They found him sitting outside of a hut in the jungle because he had been left there to get eaten by wild animals. It is really heart wrenching to hear the stories of these kids, but wow, it is so impactful. It isn’t fair that they were born into that situation, but I just can’t help but think about the powerful testimony they will have because of it, and they get to use their stories to glorify God.
What advice do you have for someone who is preparing for his or her first mission trip?
Honestly, it is all about posturing your heart in a way that shows Jesus to every person you come in contact with. If I could give you any advice, it is to go into your trip with expectations, not of how it is going to go or what you want to happen, but come expectant to see God move in a powerful way. Prepare your heart and mind to let God use you how He wants to use you and go fully surrendered.
What’s one thing you wish everyone knew about serving others?
I wish everyone could know that most likely when you are serving others, they will also be serving you. While you are there making an impact on their lives, they will also be impacting your life. Serving others is not about looking like a good person or feeling good about yourself; serving others is about showing the Gospel of Jesus through our actions and our lifestyle and showing people that they are loved, they are worthy, and they are made in His image.