MEET CALLIE HICKS: she followed her heart to Brazil and found that surrender can often lead to service.
How you decide to go on your first international mission trip?
My hometown church goes to Caledonia, Belize, for a week each summer through Praying Pelican Ministries! The year I went was my churches 5th time there. My dad had gone all 5 years, so after hearing stories from him and all of the others that go, I knew in my heart I wanted to go!
What’s one fear or hesitation you had when preparing to go, and how did you overcome it?
I was overwhelmed with thoughts of being so miserable by the heat that I wouldn’t be able to be intentional with serving. I was also full of doubt that I wouldn’t be able to build relationships with the villagers. I quickly realized what it means to truly surrender to God. When I surrendered every uncertainty I had, I knew I could let go and just be in the moment and be intentional with serving and making relationships, which is exactly what I did!
What did you learn through fundraising for your trip?
God Provides. It is something so simple I have grown up hearing, but I had never truly understood the power in those two words before doing something as simple as fundraising for a mission trip. With my dad and I both going on the trip, it was extremely costly. I knew I had to do something to fundraise, which is when a friend of mine told me about FTN! It was so cool to see how eager people were to give when it’s for something good. Whether they give in encouragement and prayers or give by purchasing a shirt, it helps so much. I learned that saying “yes” to the uncomfortableness God calls us to can be so scary, but He walks with you each and every step of the way!
How has serving internationally changed you?
Last summer, I worked at a daycare where each room had more toys than the entire village we serve in. Some homes have two or three toys, but most homes only have a ball as their toy. The kids in Belize are complete soccer stars and could outplay anyone on my high school soccer team if they had a chance! Those kids would love more toys I’m sure, but they do not show it. They appreciate what they have and are so eager to share with their friends! Seeing the culture and environment in Belize has helped me to appreciate all that I have and to not be so greedy. The love they show us year after year, welcoming us as complete strangers with open arms is a perfect picture of the love of Christ. They know nothing about us, yet choose to love us which is how I strive to be every single day.
What’s one thing you wish everyone knew about serving others?
Serving others doesn’t have to be done in grand gestures; it’s the simple things make such a lasting impact. One story I love to tell is when our team spent a day pouring concrete at a house so a family of three could stop sleeping on a dirt floor. I didn’t do much pouring, but I sat with the mother of the house and her son and talked. She didn’t speak much English, but the pastor of our host church translated for us. Our conversation was full of small talk and just learning a little about her life. The last night we are in the village we get all of our polaroid cameras so the villagers can have pictures in their houses. The mother that I had talked to the day before showed up along with her family, and I quickly took a picture of them! She and her husband both told me they wanted a picture with me in it. I hadn’t even thought much about our conversation, but it made such an impact on her. This is a moment I will never forget, and I don’t think they will either!
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