“The interesting thing about these mis- sion trips is that you think you are going to help change lives. While that is true, it is not the whole story. The more I have gone, the more I have been changed. From learning new skills, ganging confidence from doing things I never thought I could, making new friends, to growing closer to God – it is a complete change. It taught me to keep my eyes open and to truly expect God to move. Often times it is not in a way we expect, but God is moving. These trips help open your eyes to that movement.”

“There are few things in life more satisfying than being able help someone else. Because I have had the opportunity to “be the tool” for families who have lost everything in a crisis, I know this satisfaction first-hand. I also know I’ll be doing it again and again…either in person or as a financial supporter.”

“My first trip came at a time that I was questioning my purpose. Something was missing, but I couldn’t identify what it was. Being part of an organization for the greater good, God’s good, fulfilled my need. This trip is the spiritual recharging I need each year. I wouldn’t miss the opportunity.”

“Words cannot express the the ways my soul benefited from going on these trips with you. Some of my all time favorite memories are of being in a van, with you, for extended amounts of time. And the sweet sounds of Barry Manilow CDs being tossed out the window.”

“Mission trips with Riverbend have really opened my eyes at putting natural disasters… realizing the scope and large areas that are affected and adding a personal aspect to the tragedy and in allowing me to lend any skill, compassion to help people try and recover.”

“I love the opportunity to meet and have a connection with people who live in different communities or cultures than my every day existence. Hospitality from those who have so little feels so Christ like.”

“During first Katrina clean-up trip we stayed at a camp in Biloxi that had also suffered a lot of destruction. The camp dining hall served us meals and after supper people would share stories from their day’s work. There was a rough plywood sign sitting up against the wall that said in red letters “IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU”. It was a powerful message in the midst of such disaster. God has used those words so many times in my life since then and even as I write this, the tears come as I remember the people, the experiences, the grace displayed by those who suffered such loss.”

“From very early on, I knew I wanted to be a part of what this group is doing because their love for God and each other is very clear.”

“Doing my best, working on something for others who have lost much. Now I have regret when I can not go on one of these mission trips.”

“These mission trips have taught me to take the time to hear their stories. Everyone, wherever you are has a story!!! God has put you in that exact space and that exact time for a reason.”