The Cost of Going

By Ed Voss

July 1, 2012


My wife and daughters were the first members of my family to go on the Guatemala mission trip in July 2007. I stayed behind.

Why didn't I go? Work demands, mainly. I was afraid of the effect that such a trip would have on my legal practice. I have not taken a week-long vacation since 2003. Being away from work for 8 or 9 days means I don't get paid. I only get paid what I bill, since I am not on a salary. Also, my clients are demanding, and they usually want me to handle their legal needs and answer their questions immediately when they call… or else they will find another lawyer who can do that!

How could I justify being away for that long? I was afraid of what going on that trip could do to my ability to provide for my family. I could not justify it in my mind.

My wife and daughters returned from that trip, and they could not stop talking about the Guatemalan people, the activities, and the blessings they received from serving them. I listened and was glad that they had a meaningful time. Suzanna really wanted me to go the next year, but I could not see how I could make it work.

But God worked on me for months. He calmed my fears about work. He worked on the hearts of my law partners, and he worked on my clients so that they would be okay with me being out of town for such a long time.

In July 2008, we stood at the airport in Guatemala City waiting to board the plane home. Brad Hairston put his arm around me and told me that he had been praying hard all year for me to come on this trip.

Sure, going on the trip puts a ding in our finances, but God keeps taking care of that. In fact, my going on this trip has drawn me spiritually closer to some of my clients!

By being God's hands and feet to love and serve our Guatemalan friends, I was totally unprepared to see how much we blessed them and how much they blessed us as a result. Is it easy? No. Time off work. A hit to the finances. Being hot and sweaty. Dealing with bugs, bad water. Laying aside cultural issues and expectations. Logistical struggles in-country.

But my comfort is not the issue. The point is to serve others in a way that means so much more than if I win a lawsuit or finalize a contract. I am so thankful that I made the decision to go because God has used this trip to increase my reliance and dependence on Him.