A guest article by Lifeonaires Mike & Morgan Neubauer, who’ve been leading the charge for Lifeonaire Missions to Guatemala for quite some time now…
As business owners and entrepreneurs, we are hardwired to seek out things that empower us to build better businesses and more fulfilling personal lives.
We revel in this pattern of:
1. Get the information.
2. Implement the advice.
3. Experience success.
This pattern requires nothing more than a ton of self-reliance and perseverance. Conveniently enough, these two traits seem to come naturally to most entrepreneurs.
But what about those times when business groups and best-selling authors aren’t bringing you the success and contentment you so desire? The times when self-reliance and that trusty pattern of personal or business success just aren’t working?
Stuck in a Rut…
In 2015, my trusty equation wasn’t working anymore. I was experiencing a rut. The puzzle that was my life and business was nearly complete but seemed to be missing a piece.
It’s about that time that I felt God asking me to do something scary that I’d never done before: go on a mission trip.
Talk about a reality check. On that first trip, God served me a very large dose of reality.
Those beautiful Guatemalan people…they had real ruts. On a daily basis, they had life-altering struggles that my own mundane struggles just couldn’t compare to.
And if I wasn’t humbled enough, I witnessed this amazing culture pray for what they needed, and earnestly thank God for the little that they did have.
No magic formula for success existed, so instead of focusing on themselves (like I so often tended to do), they rejoiced in helping their families and neighbors.
I remember crying and thanking God…
…on the plane ride home that summer—because, through my experience with these delightful people, God had revealed to me that my “rut” problem wasn’t really a problem at all.
My true problem was a lack of perspective and purpose.
The kind of purpose only discovered in the joy of serving and walking with complete strangers.
The kind of purpose that fulfills God’s plan….not my own.
If you’re in a rut, I’m confident God is calling. He intentionally quiets our successes and shakes our comfort to remind us to rely on him.
It’s also in these moments that he asks us to do those BIG and uncomfortable things…things that can be the most transforming experiences of our lives.
What BIG thing is God calling you to do?
Here are a few of the amazing and real testimonies of people I know who were called to serve in Guatemala like I was:
“To say that the Lifeonaire Missions Experience in Guatemala is LIFE CHANGING feels inadequate. It is truly difficult to put into words the profound effect the days spent there have had on my life.
The place is both amazingly beautiful and staggeringly poor. The poverty is both striking in it’s scope and it’s depth but at the same time the people we work with don’t seem to let it effect the other areas of their lives, the friendship and family relationships are surprisingly strong and the gratitude is palatable in some of the homes we visited.
The lessons and experiences are many and deep, the relationships built with peers and those we serve are deep and meaningful and the sights are memorable in their grandeur and their beauty. It is something you need to experience and support for yourself.” —Chuck
“The first time you do a mission trip you do not know what to expect. You may have an agenda, plans, etc…but you never know the outcome. Here was the unexpected outcome…
We grew to love the people and the culture of Guatemala. We made lifelong connections to friends in Guatemala and other parts of the US. We sponsored a student and her family, and in return they sponsored us. We needed to learn more about contentment, God’s grace, and Joy. We are still learning those lessons today. As we go through our day we think about, pray about, and plan to go back to Guatemala.
People talk about getting out of your comfort zone to go do missions and there is some truth to that. But it’s the risk of the mission changing you, that you should be most aware of, and that we are most grateful for.” —Mike & Deidra
“I have been participating in mission trips to Guatemala with the Lifeonaire group for three years now. Initially I was hesitant about going and fearful of the unknown. However, after the first few days my fears were put to rest. We are well taken care of in Antigua by representatives from the school and fellow Lifeonaires. Every time I go I am blessed with an amazing experience.
This is my third year participating in this trip and it has been extremely rewarding. The kids I have met on these trips have the same dreams and ambitions as children in the U.S. They want to be chefs, doctors, lawyers, teachers, you name it. Unfortunately they lack the resources to get themselves out of poverty.
Escuela Integrada provides them with the education, food, and support they need to realize their dreams. I have seen first hand how lives and entire families have been changed by the school. Education is the way out of poverty in Guatemala.
By returning year after year, I can see how the lives of the kids and families we help improve. They are not shy in sharing their gratitude with us! The friends I have made on these trips will last a lifetime. I look forward to returning next year!” —Mike
Special thanks to Mike & Morgan Neubauer for sharing this Lifeonaire Missions article!
If you have any interest in being a part of Lifeonaire Missions and something bigger than yourself, reach out to Mike & Morgan at [email protected].
We’d really love to hear your experience with mission trips, whether with Lifeonaire & GRACES or any other mission trip that has impacted your life!
So, please share your thoughts, comments, feedback below.
I love all of these stories. Having been to Guatemala on about 10 trips now, I’ve watched personally how these trips are changing lives. Not only for those in Guatemala, which believe me when I tell you we are making a difference, but for those who are going in to serve. I’d encourage you all, if you feel moved to reach out and find out how you can get involved.