“If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”
Romans 12:8 NLT

This verse shows us that God has given each of us a gift. We all are so different in many good ways and that’s just how God wanted it to be. What if we all had the same gift… how boring would that be? God thought the same thing I bet, that’s why he made each and every one of us so different and oh so special. One gift in that verse is leadership. Being a leader isn’t always easy but God always has lessons and things to teach you in life on how to be a better leader and a better person in all areas of life.

God has provided me with opportunities in life to become a better leader and grow my relationship with Him. I’ve been able to go on three mission trips so far in my life and hopefully many more. The first two trips were to Costa Rica with Kids On A Mission and those two trips have taught me so much about leadership and life. I was able to connect super well with my team and make lifelong friendships. I was taught so many leadership skills on those trips that have helped me in many areas of my life. One was organizational skills now that may not sound important but it really is. I was able to help run the craft team on the Costa Rica trip both years I went and we had to be organized and make sure we had every detailed planned and make sure everything was ordered. Another one is communication. Communication is super important if you don’t communicate what you need and what you would like help with it won’t happen. No one can actually read your mind, so you have to communicate. Patience and kindness are also very important. I learned patience when I came in contact with something I had not experienced before, a new language and translators. Sometimes when teaching a lesson the translators wouldn’t understand me so I had to remember to be kind and patient when trying to get across what I was trying to say. I learned so much about and how to treat others when trying to lead.

My Haiti trip I went on with my church changed me a lot too. I experienced a little bit of how they lived and what their everyday life was like in Haiti. There were about a million more things I learned on this trip but one about leadership is understanding. To ever have the slightest idea of how someone feels or lives is to walk in their shoes. Now I’m not saying I know how the people in Haiti feel, their life is beyond hard but to see a little of how they live changed my whole perspective on life. I can’t begin to put into words how hard it is to take in the life someone else lives but it has made me a better person and a better leader. Just open your eyes to the world around you and you will see the areas of life you are super privileged in and how that can make you more opened to things that can improve your life.

We are all growing every day and have so much to learn in life. God has blessed me with opportunities to grow and learn in life. Kids On A Mission has helped me so much with that too. I get to grow with some amazing people and see life in a whole new way. God is growing me constantly and opening my eyes up to the different gifts he has given me and I can’t wait to see what else he has planned for my life!

-Karissa Moore