Faith+Hope+Love, re: the mission trip

So, a little fight usually goes on between me and God when He wants me to do stuff. Big stuff, like change the world and work for good and spread love, and whatnot. The problem is, he always ask us to do such hard things. Just once, I like him to ask me to do something easy, like watch a marathon of West Wing episodes.

Anyway, 11 months ago, when I first started as the youth director at Crossroads of Faith UMC, it went something like this:

Him: Crystal, I want you to plan a mission trip for these youth.

Me: Um, what now? No thanks.

Him: I’m serious, you need to do this. You have to trust me.

Me: But, um, these guys haven’t done a mission trip in a hot minute, and I just started, and nobody would really notice if I didn’t plan one, and I’m tired, so ya, I think I’ll pass.

Him: No. You have to do this. You know they are life-changing, you know they are powerful, you know that these kids are bursting with a need to go on one, and you know you can do this.

Me: No, really. I’m tired.

Him: I will give you strength.

Me: Fine. I will sign us up. But if this doesn’t go well, it’s on you.

Him: It’ll go well.

Seven months ago:

Me: All right God, I’m planning this thing and bunch of people at this church are looking at me like I’m nuts and none of the kids will commit and I don’t know where the money is going to come from. Are you sure about this?

Him: I’m sure. Trust me.

Me: Seriously God, I’m on the line here. This is a lot of money, and these kids think I’m nuts.

Him: It will be all right. Trust me.

Me: But I’m STRESSED OUT about raising the money.

Random email literally later that night: Hi Crystal! Our committee would like to donate to the mission trip. How much money do you still need? Signed, Awesome people.

Me: (Sigh). Fine.

Five months ago:

Me: Seriously God, I still have a lot of spots left. And I’m still really worried about the funding. Are you sure this is your will? Because if it’s not, just let me know an I’ll cancel the whole thing.

Random woman at church, three minutes later: Hey Crystal, I was wondering if I could donate to the mission trip. Who should I make the check out to? (true story).

Me: Fine, God. You win this round.

One month ago:

Me: Um, God, I no longer have any adult volunteers except for myself. And I have a handful of spots left and I’M FREAKING OUT!!!!

Him: Trust me. This will work out.

This week:

An awesome set of adult volunteers came together, including a church leader who will be bringing his grandson and my mom (hi mom!). And, assuming everyone who told me they were going goes, 15 kids are signed up. AND, after a slew of fundraisers over the last couple months (including, but not limited to: a church yard sale (those things are A LOT OF WORK), a Mother’s Day flower pot sale, a water bottle/parking event and a pancake breakfast), we have nearly all the money we will need.

Now we just have to get ourselves to Oklahoma. I have a feeling God will work that out though.

It’s not too late to donate to this amazing cause. (We could still use about $1,000 for gas). If you’re interested, please send a check to

  • Attn: Crystal Lindell,
  • Crossroads of Faith UMC,
  • 1570 Rodeo Dr. Bolingbrook, Il.
  • 60490.

Make it out to Crossroads of Faith UMC and put “mission trip” in the memo line.

Me and God thank you.

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