This summer, students from the Salt Company (Citylight’s college ministry) had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Berlin. The team worked with other missionaries stationed there to serve the community in different ways. This team included Morgan Koca and Naomi Mattox.
Morgan is a student at Creighton University and a City Group leader at Salt Company. Morgan was determined to go on the trip to Berlin this summer because last year she was disappointed that she decided not to apply and prayed about missions afterward. Morgan had not gone on a mission trip before and that made the experience even more special.
While in Berlin, Morgan saw God move in her and in others. She saw people in Berlin be intentional with their friendships and time. Many don’t know Jesus, but Morgan saw their need for Him.
During the trip Morgan was reminded to see others as treasures instead of targets. She realized
“taking the time to get to know them and not just immediately checking sharing the Gospel with them off the list”
is an important part of missions. She noted that
“it may take time to tell them about Jesus but showing them Jesus from day one is the best way to start.”
For Morgan, the best parts of the trip were the little moments and random conversations with others. This included when the team sang HappyBbirthday to a stranger and had dinner with her. She also shared that they visited a refugee house where families who’ve fled their home country but now live together. She also found that even when they may not speak the same language, she was still able to connect with smiles. Morgan struggled with not being able to communicate with people. She said,
“I am a very relational person. It’s one of the gifts God has given me. So, it was hard to not talk to everyone, but God does. Just being with these people was the most important thing we could do.”
This mission trip showed Morgan that mission can look different. Whether it’s in a different country or right here, we are called to be on mission. Morgan found that she went into the trip with certain expectations of what mission should look like. God tore down those perceptions very quickly. God showed her that everything they were doing in Berlin could be done in Omaha.
“Mission can be in any moment,” she declared. “There is not a certain way it looks, mission is everywhere. God doesn’t need me for his mission, but He lets me be part of the journey.”
Going forward, Morgan will remember these interactions and continue to grow from them. She learned the importance of getting out of her own culture and context. One of the main things she took with her was that God loves all people and that He is working in her and others. She could hear God reminding her that these people are His children too.
“They may not speak the same language, but God loves them just as much as He loves me,” she said.
Naomi had been on mission trips before, but this trip was a different experience. On all her trips, she has loved seeing people from different cultures who speak different languages worship the same God she does. Naomi is a freshman and just said ‘yes’ to what God was calling her to and that included Berlin.
During the trip, Naomi saw God moving in the team as well as others. The trip showed her that she can become a bit selfish in team situations and needed to learn to depend on the others in the group. A difficult part of the trip for Naomi was controlling her mindset and deconstructing her set idea of mission. This trip looked different from others she had gone on, but she reminded herself that
“we are all there for the same reason—to share the gospel. It’s not about me.”
Naomi’s view of mission changed while in Berlin.
“I love watching other people do mission and see how the mission changes based on how the people in Germany do life.”
Naomi learned that there is not one right way to do mission, but the approach changes based on the culture need of the country.
Naomi saw God working in her as well as others during the trip.
“The trip showed me that the more I am connected with God, the easier it is to have a mission.”
She has served with kids before and has taught them about the Bible. On this trip God reminded her that she needs the same message she is sharing with others.
After this experience, Naomi learned to have confidence in herself and her identity as a Christian. Being from a different country didn’t settle in immediately with the differences being a bit isolating. She learned to be confident in her identity in Christ and to be able to reach out to others even if it’s in a simple way. Naomi loved the trip and would encourage others to go.
“It’s a great learning experience for you and the people there.”
We follow Jesus today because He has been relentlessly faithful to pursue and redeem the foreigner, you and me. And now He invites all of us to join with Him on His Mission to redeem all nations! So as a church, we seek to DISCOVER - what is God’s mission? And what is my role in it? So that wherever we are, we live on mission with Jesus. Join a monthly Discovery Group to intentionally explore God’s calling and purpose together!