Recap of the Winter Domestic Mission Trip to Project 658
Domestic Mission trips are defined as going and serving within the domestic landscape of the country you reside in. As opposed to what most of us understand as mission trips, meaning you go abroad to another country and serve there (this is what an International Mission trip is).
One of the ways that Lipscomb Athletics has found a way to serve domestically is through partnering with people & ministries who are intentionally serving a need here in America.
Over Christmas break, a small group of athletes representing four different Lipscomb Athletic teams, traveled in a 15-passenger van to Charlotte, North Carolina to jump into the work being done at Project 658. Coach Tim Muller from Lipscomb Cross Country led the trip, athletes serving included Caleb Stubbs and Meredith Kilburn are from Lipscomb Men & Women’s Track & Cross Country, Lee Solomon and Kyle Kemp from Lipscomb Baseball, and Brittany Thomas from Lipscomb Volleyball.
Primarily, the mission work done by the mission team was blending into the day-to-day activities and providing extra hands and encouragement to the team at 658 in whatever way they could. Some of these things included: childcare for refugee children, Bible lessons, vocation training, cleaning apartments for the apartment complex partner that houses refugees, eating and hanging out with families, participating in a community soccer outreach, and much more.
Coach Muller’s thoughts on the activities of the trip were,
“The coolest thing was to see the center and everything that they are doing. It helped me to gain an appreciation for the challenges that refugees face. Even though they face a lot of challenges, they’re still leading happy lives.”
Meredith Kilburn, a senior cross country runner on the trip said,
“It amazed me that such a great organization was so close to where I grew up, and I never realized Charlotte has such a huge population of refugees. It was awesome to learn about the ways in which Project 658 is improving the lives of members of the Charlotte community and aiding in refugees’ transition to American life.”
Brittany Thomas, a sophomore volleyball player, commented,
“I didn’t know what to think going into this trip. I had only heard great things, so I didn’t see what should hold me back from something new like this. When the time came to leave home a week early though, I did not want to go. I had to just get in the car and drive before I could change my mind. I trusted that God wanted me to go on this trip with this group of people for whatever reason, and it paid off so incredibly. Project 658 taught me first hand all about the refugees, their struggles, their homes, their English barriers, their children, and their lifestyles at home.
There were six of us on this mission team that went. I knew two of them very well and the other 4 were people I’d never met before. My leaving thought after the trip: how did I not know these extraordinary people? I was put to shame on how well I thought I knew my school and my athletic program. It was honestly one of my biggest take-aways: there are amazing people all around us. God is begging us to look up. I tried my very best to do that on this trip with my mission team and the refugees and I couldn’t be more thankful for what I got in return.”
Chris Klotz, shared this thought regarding a trip like this:
“One of the biggest things for me, is the awakening to our souls that we don’t have to leave this country in order to serve on God’s mission. It is an active way of life, and I think that what happens in this ministry in Charlotte is that we see a tangible work of God in this “missionary lifestyle.” This group of guys at Project 658, this is how they live their lives every single day, loving and serving these people that society would call marginalized. And so it shifts our thinking to, ‘I don’t have to get on a plane and go to a foreign country to live on mission.”
“It may take place in a foreign land or it may take place in your backyard, but I believe that we were each created to change the world for someone. To serve someone. To love someone the way Christ first loved us, to spread His light. This is the dream, and it is possible.” –Katie Davis, author of Kisses From Katie
How will you live on mission where you are right here, right now?
Written By: Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation Team Member, Alex Newby
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