A Mission for Missions
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
—Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
Most 20-year-olds are just getting their feet pointed in the direction they want their lives to go, but Rockdale native Allyson Muston got her calling several years ago, and not where she thought she would find it.
The daughter of Mark and Karen Muston and granddaughter of Dorothy Muston described herself as very shy and a “home body,” but a youth missionary trip south of the border in 2007 changed all that.
“I first became interested in missions when I got involved in a new youth group at Bethel Assemblies of God in Temple the summer after my seventh grade year. I formed a bond with a new youth pastor that came to our church. He convinced me to go on the youth mission’s trip to Reynosa, Mexico,” she said. “I ended up going on the trip to Mexico, which was a miracle in itself that I stayed away from home for a week and a half and my life was changed dramatically.”
Muston had always wanted to have a career that is focused on helping others like a social worker or a doctor, but never dreamed that she would find her calling in mission work.
“Ever since (the Mexico trip), I have participated in a mission’s trip every summer, and every one of those trips has impacted my life more than I could have imagined.”
“When I chose physical education as my major, I had missions in mind. I love to work with children, I love to be active and I love to travel, so by choosing physical education I was able to combine my greatest interests and apply that to my future career,” she said.
AROUND THE WORLD— Muston has been on seven mission trips in her young life, including a two-week trip in June to Tanzania, a country located on the Eastern coast of Africa.
“I was able to travel with our group to three different locations which showed us three completely different cultures of Africa. Inthefirstlocation,we helped with the construction of a business that will serve as an English-Language School. In the second location, we were able to work with one of the churches in that town and I had the privilege of playing the drums with the worship team for three church services,” Muston said.
The third location during this trip was out “in the bush” as natives call it.
“We were able to experience an amazing safari as well as to speak at a village church. It was an experience I will never forget. This was the one trip that I can honestly say I was not ready to come home and I am ready to go back.”
“I had the opportunity to work with a group in Africa to distribute TOMS Shoes. TOMS Shoes is an organization that sells trendy slip-on shoes and for every pair that is purchased, they send one pair to a child in need. The cool thing about it is that they don’t just give them one pair and forget about them—they give them a new pair of shoes every six months until they graduate,” she said. “I was able to pass out shoes to 700 children and my favorite part was that we didn’t hand them the shoes. We sat each child down individually and we put the shoes on their feet for them.
“Seeing their faces light up when they felt shoes on their feet has to be my favorite memory of all time. It was a very humbling experience.”
SPIRITUAL MOVEMENT— Muston’s other missionary trips have taken her to Mexico, the Canary Islands, El Salvador, Los Angeles and Asia.
Most of the places she went Muston helped with Vacation Bible Schools but the El Salvador trip was special because Muston said a huge spiritual movement took place.
“One school who at first rejected us, later accepted our group for the program and at this school, every student, the principal of the school and even the security guard with a heavy duty machine gun on his back gave their lives to Christ that day.”
GROWING ON THE INSIDE—Muston said that as she has come into adulthood as she has done missionary work, she can reflect on how it has help her grow more than she has helped others.
“Each and every missions trip I have been on has impacted my life in different ways. I have gained a great appreciation for the things I have been blessed with here,” she said. “The things I saw on my first mission’s trip broke my heart— the living conditions, the children with no clothes or shoes, the starvation, both physically and spiritually—it gives you an appreciation for the little things that can easily be taken for granted.
“Missionary work has brought me out of my shell. I have become more outgoing that I ever thought I would be.”