Used with permission from Camryn Wilson.

Over the summer, 16 year-old, Sidney Chason, went on a mission trip with her church, Browns Bridge, to Outer Banks, North Carolina. She went with an open mind and open heart to discover what The Lord had planned for her that week. Ever since she has come home, Chason has expressed her desire to return; she takes every opportunity she can to share with others what she experienced that week.

Lighthouse Mission, in the words of Chason, has the global impact to be with families that are affected by childhood cancer. Servants active in Lighthouse all come together for this one week on the beach with the common goal to give the families the best week of their life. Chason’s personal goal was to impact a child’s life and to give them an amazing week.

“Going into the trip, I did not know what to expect. This was my first Lighthouse trip, let alone my first mission trip, so I had no expectations or standards to hold the coming week to. I was just ready to love on any of the kids I got to spend the week with. Everybody on my team was given a family that they would spend their week with. My greatest fear of the week was that I wouldn’t make a lasting effect on them.”

The anxiety over the trip did not have a lasting effect.

“The most defining moment of my visit to the Outer Banks was the ‘un-birthday’ party on Thursday night. Each year, they have an ‘un-birthday’ party for the families to remember the birthdays that they may not have been able to celebrate throughout the year. I just keep replaying the moment where I looked around and all the kids were smiling; every single one of us, kids going through treatment, siblings, team members, were living in the moment. It was just a brief glimpse of what Heaven will be like. I really felt the impact that the kids were having on my life and also the impact that my church was having on them.”

“The most challenging part of the trip definitely had to be the lack of sleep we all received. Although each day was spent worthwhile, being tired did take its toll.”

“Going into the trip, my mind was consumed with feelings of fear, but all of these feelings soon subsided. As I said my last, ‘see you later,’ one of the treatment kids I spent the whole week with started crying. He didn’t want our group to leave. A few days after I got back home, the family I was with all week texted me, telling me they missed me. It was in these few simple moments that I knew our group made an impact. I love how everybody that ministered on this trip has their own moments and stories to share. Mine is just one of the many. I will absolutely seek another opportunity to go on another Lighthouse mission trip.”

Chason shares on how this event has changed her attitude and perspective in life.

“Before this trip, whenever I saw somebody who had cancer, my initial thought was that they were unhappy. I could not fathom the thought of them finding joy in everyday life, going through what they had to go through. After this experience, seeing the families, spending time with siblings and treatment kids on the beach, I have discovered a new perspective. Anyone can choose how they perceive something. Choose wisely. With a new outlook, I am able to see and know how amazing God is.”

Chason compares her mission trip to a global one.

“Some people have this thought that you aren’t able to serve on a mission trip in the United States. Most only consider global trips as mission trips. However, serving in North Carolina, a place that is not run down, or an environment that needs tending, really has helped me comprehend the purpose of Lighthouse. The intent of the mission is to allow the families to have the best week. It is their getaway from normal life, whereas most global mission trips have the common goal of not only spreading the gospel, but helping improve the area. This week was just about being with, not doing for.”

“I encourage anyone and everyone to go on mission trips. The one I went on was much different from a global one, but it was still so impactful. I could definitely see God working through all of these kids.”