On Sunday, the worship service focused on the work of those who participated in mission trips this year. We heard about the languages of Prayer, the power of community outreach, the impact of mission travel on the participants how mission grows as God moves us forward. All of these were significant lessons.
But for me the lesson I will remember the longest is a question: “Will what we do make any long term difference?” That is a tough question to face. When people have lived in poverty and become accustomed to squalor, will rehabbing their dwelling make a significant difference in their lives?
As I have thought about and wrestled with this question, I have come to a couple tentative solutions:
1. The work of rehabbing (cleaning up, painting, restoring) is an open door that can provide a starting point. It can become the soil in which hope can grow. This is a good thing and a God thing because as Paul said, “Hope does not disappoint because the love is God is poured out. . .” And 2. Simply rehabbing a house and yard is not enough to bring about permanent change. There is more that is needed. In addition to doing some work for or with a person, there needs to be a connection that goes beyond the work. After the house has been painted, will the children be able to go to school? After the yard is cleared, will a garden be able to provide vegetables? When the spark of hope is lit, will the love of Jesus break through the fog and provide new life?
Mission is more than a trip to serve. It is investing in individual lives and committing ourselves to build relationships that change us as well of those we have gone to serve. That is why I am excited that our mission teams are not one shot service projects, rather they are relationship building, community transforming commitments.
Recently this story was linked to our facebook page. As you listen to it, pray that you might be sensitive the moving of the Spirit in your life. Is there a way you can build a new relationship today? ( https://www.facebook.com/LADbible/videos/4034860516561108/)