The Enduring Rewards of Mission Trips: Teens, Sacrifice and Serving

Published by Piedmont Family Magazine, Issue 2, April 2013
The Enduring Rewards of Mission Trips for Teens: Piedmont Family Magazine Article, April 2013

Two weeks after returning from my mission trip to El Salvador, I was still emotionally recovering. I volunteered to serve with the medical mission, Operation Blessing, filling in where there was need: dispensing vitamins and aspirin, listening to interpreters share patient stories, praying with those desperate for healing, love and someone to care.

The medical clinic was erected behind an orphanage with concrete blocks and walls guarded with razor wires. I remember our van driving past a street fight: one man with a gun on one side and another one with a machete. I remember thinking, “I can guess who’s going to win that one!”

The images remain with me 20 years later: armed guards standing at Burger King while long lines of sad-faced people waited to be seen by the American doctors, the desperate hope on the face of the little girl bent over with Spina Bifida, tearful old man who could no longer hear.

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Marianne Clyde is a licensed marriage and family therapist who travels extensively to developing countries teaching trauma healing. Her practice based in Warrenton, VA focuses on helping clients break through those barriers that keep them from living the abundant life that they were created to live. She focuses on anxiety, depression eating disorders and relationships. Her website, focuses on helping parents practice the principles of peaceful parenting.

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