Boredom… my one great fear in life.

Living a carefully managed existence and staying close to shore sounds like a slow shuffle towards the old folk’s home. A remarkable world exists that the Lord has put before us and I’ve always wanted to experience it.

In fact, the promise of adventure drew me across the ocean on my first mission trip. I spent six weeks of my summer in communist Romania, behind the “Iron Curtain.” It sounded like a mountainous challenge, but I wanted in. I signed up, trusted the Lord for the money and got on the plane. Going on that trip remains one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

At one point in the summer I was asked to wait at a train station near the Black Sea in order to pick up some evangelistic materials for distribution.

“… the promise of adventure drew me across the ocean on my first mission trip. I spent six weeks of my summer in communist Romania, behind the ‘Iron Curtain.’ It sounded like a mountainous challenge, but I wanted in.” – Dave Dishman

Empty train tracks by Gabriel

Because Romania was communist at the time, this was technically illegal. Or just plain illegal, technical or not. It sounded exciting, but as I sat all day at this country station, in the middle of a cornfield, the allure started to wear off. I waited from early morning until dusk for the people with the materials to show. When they didn’t, I had to find my way back to our campsite in the dark, hiking and hopping trains and chasing busses.

After a couple of days of waiting with the same results, I was fed up.

No one had arrived and I felt that my time in the mission field was wasting away. While my friends were meeting Romanian students and discussing the love of Jesus, I was dozing in the shade with no one to talk to except a drunk guy who, on the second day, crawled over from under a tree and shared lunch.

No Boredom In Stunning Encounters

On the third day I was lying on a bench with a book over my face when a train arrived. A quick glance up the tracks and I realized that my friends had not appeared, so I went back to sleep.

A moment later someone approached and asked me a question in Romanian. From under by book I replied in a loud, frustrated voice, in English, “I don’t speak Romanian!”

"Waiting for the train" by Leon Rice-Whetton

Remember, I’m a missionary at this point. The young man who had approached me then said, “Oh, you speak English, may I talk with you?”

Being somewhat perceptive, I sat up and we introduced ourselves.

He was a soldier who had gotten off the train for a break and asked for a light. I had some matches, so he lit his cigarette and we began to talk. He happened to be a university student serving his compulsory military service, which was common at the time. Even though he had never spoken with a native English-speaker, his language skills were excellent. He asked if I had something to read, and in my pack I had a booklet that outlined the gospel. I pulled it out and he started reading it out loud.

After the first point–God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life–his hand began to quiver.

He read about sin and separation from God and we talked about this a bit. When he read that Jesus is God’s only provision for man’s sin, he put the cigarette down because his hands were shaking too much to hold it.

He kept repeating, “I’ve never heard this before, I’ve never heard this before.”

Just when he read that we must personally receive Jesus as Saviour and Lord and we started to discuss how to do that, the whistle for the train blew. Soldiers all around us started scurrying to get back onboard.

As he got up to leave, he asked if he could keep the booklet, saying that he wanted to make that decision to follow Jesus. The last glimpse I got of him was through the window of the train where he was intently studying the booklet.

The train pulled away while I sat stunned on the bench.

“He kept repeating, ‘I’ve never heard this before, I’ve never heard this before.'” – Dave Dishman

No Boredom In A Changed Life

It was a fifteen-minute encounter and the deepest spiritual conversation I had that summer. For some reason that God only knows, he chose to take a college student 5,500 miles from Missouri to meet another college student at a desolate train station in a corner of Eastern Europe for a short conversation, a conversation that could change everything.

God will do what God will do. His economy is different from ours. God wants people to hear the good news and he will use all sorts of people and circumstances to ensure that happens.

As I’ve been involved in going to the world for years now, I’ve met fantastic people, seen wonderful sights, been nervous many times, hungry a lot, tired, surprised, shocked, frustrated, angry and lost more than once.

In fact, later that same night in Romania, I was lost in the middle of a field with a pack of dogs barking nearby. I wondered if they were hungry and whether I smelled good to them. Had God used me and now it was time for my demise? Thankfully, not.

Still, in the midst of all these experiences, have I been bored?

No, not really. Adventure and boredom don’t mix.

“Still, in the midst of all these experiences, have I been bored? No, not really. Adventure and boredom don’t mix.” – Dave Dishman

No Boredom While On Mission: An Opportunity

Are you looking for an adventure that will not only change your life, but will change the lives of men and women around the world who have never heard of the love of Jesus?

P2C-Students is a community of regular Christians who are passionate about living out the Great Commission both here in Canada and around the world. We have tons of adventures. From your campus to the ends of the earth.

National & International Internships

Right now we are looking for students who would give one to two years after graduation to help engage students with the life-changing message of Jesus. Are you ready to take a step of faith to serve God full-time on an internship with us? Click here to see various internship opportunities we offer.

Join P2C-Students on an amazing adventure.

“Empty train tracks” by Gabriel
“Waiting for the train” by Leon Rice-Whetton

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About the Author

Dave Dishman

Dave serves on staff with Cru (our US ministry) as the National Innovation Director for Global Missions. He lives in Colorado with his wife Dawn and is the father to three adult children. This post is an excerpt from “GO: Following Jesus to the End of the Earth” published by Cru Publishing. Follow Dave online at his blog: GO! and make sure to subscribe!

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