In a few weeks, I'll be going to a foreign country as part of a high school summer missions project from our church. What advice would you give me so I can get the most out of this? I really believe God opened the door for me to go on this trip, but I'm not sure exactly why.
The most important thing you can do is to ask God to help you learn whatever He wants to teach you through this experience. As you’ve already sensed, it is no accident you are going on this trip. God has opened the door for you to go, and I’m sure He has many lessons to teach you.
Some of these may be lessons about yourself. If you’re like most Americans, you’ve had a relatively easy life so far — but this probably won’t be true of those you’ll meet. Much of the world struggles with poverty and disease every day, and this can be a sobering reality when you see it for the first time. Ask God to make you sensitive and compassionate to those you meet.
God may also want to teach you some lessons about what He is doing in the world. For example, you may be going to a place that is very needy spiritually. Ask God to help you be a witness for Christ while you are there — and also to help you learn from your fellow believers. Paul said he wanted to visit the Christians in Rome so “you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Romans 1:12).
Finally, God may be using this experience to prepare you for a lifetime of service for Christ as a missionary, or in some other capacity. Christ’s final command is still in force: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15).