Blog » 12 Days of Testimonies, #11
During our 12 Days of Testimonies, we want to bring people's stories to life, to show how one trip has impacted them. Some people go, are radically changed, and continue to change the lives of those around them... These are their stories:
The Bass Family.
I have been blessed over the past 15 years to be able to travel to many different countries for various reasons. Most of my trips outside the US have been for pleasure with a few exceptions.....one trip to Honduras on a mission trip and two trips to China to bring home our adopted daughters. When I contacted VO about leading a group to Costa Rica in July of this year I thought it would allow me the opportunity to be involved in two things that I enjoy....travel and missions.
As a father of 3 daughters with 2 of them being adopted the idea of going on a mission trip to work with orphans seemed like the perfect fit for me. Thankfully Autumn agreed to let me lead one of the July 2011 Costa Rica teams. I started putting together my team and in the process Stephanie (my wife) and I made the decision that I would take Meredith my 10 year daughter on the trip. Meredith and I were so excited that we were going to be able to share this experience together. Having her with me made the trip that much more special and I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to have that time with her. Meredith is a very compassionate and caring girl and I have never been more proud of her than I was that week in CR watching her loving and playing with the children. So let me encourage ALL parents to consider saying "YES" to taking their children with them on a mission trip as soon as they are old enough.....you will NOT be sorry.
Since I have 2 adopted daughters from China I thought going to work in the orphanages would not be too difficult. I thought I knew what it is like for these children....I've heard my 13 year old daughter from China talk about life in the orphanage so no big deal. I thought out of everyone on my team I would be the last one to be emotional while in CR. Well that was not true. No matter how much I thought I understood about what these children experience....until I was there to look into their faces I had no clue what their lives were like. You can read about their experiences everyday but until you go to where they are you will never truly understand what they are going through. As followers of Christ we are ALL called to be involved in missions and I can't think of a better way than going on a Visiting Orphans mission trip.
The combination of reading David's Platt's book "Radical" and going to Costa Rica caused me to examine what God is calling me to do in the future. He hasn't revealed His plans for my future yet but I believe it will involve me doing more work with orphans/children in poverty. I am thankful to be part of VO in a small way and pray that God will continue to bless and grow the ministry of Visiting Orphans. I look forward to my return trip to Costa Rica next summer and other opportunities to be part of Visiting Orphans' work around the world.
Matthew and Stephanie Bass