I do not know how many of you know that I am going to be going on a mission trip. But as part of the Second Year curriculum at WOLBI, is a mandatory missions trip, also known as Missions Reality.
There are 7 different trips. Quebec, Canada; Hungary; Argentina; Ukraine; LCM (Local Church Ministry, different churches on the south east coast of the states); Brazil; And OAE (Open Air Evangelism) to New York City.
We leave tomorrow.
To say that I am excited is a vast understatement.
As a way for the first years to get involved, we hold a Missions Reality Chapel for the whole school to go to. In today's chapel the Brazil trip presented one of the songs that we will be performing while in Brazil. The song is "Above All," but sung in Portuguese, with Sign Language to go along to it.
At first I thought that I would just tolerate Signing, but I soon became fond of it. It is even kind of fun! (You knew all along Adele!)
(I was going to upload the video here, but it is not working, I will try when I get back, or maybe a new one from down in Brazil!)
Acima de Tudo (Above All)
The trip costs just over $2000, I didn't know how I was going to be able to raise all that money. But luckily I didn't have to worry, because God had it all under control! (Matt. 6.31-34)
Among the ministry opportunities that I will have while in Brazil, I will be going to a local landfill (where many children unfortunately have to live), going down stream with a riverboat ministry, and be teaching local school children about the Bible.
The more I write about this, the more I cannot wait to see what God is going to do, not only in the lives of the children and adults we minister to, but also in the lives of my teammates and I!
I honestly started pursuing Brazil, because I wanted to go, see lots of cool things, and travel more. But now, thinking about the children that go to bed hungry and dirty, lonely and desperately, cold and ashamed. I want only to help them. I am not that fond of children. But those kids that have nothing, I have a heart for.
We Americans have SO much. We HONESTLY take it for granted EVERYDAY! Sure some of us don't have as nice of things compared to some friends, maybe wanting a new I-pod, or the newest cell phone. But these kids don't even have enough clothes to keep themselves covered. They lack enough money to buy bread... some don't even have parents.
I am not trying to hate on those around me, I include me in this listing. I so often want new shirts, cause my other ones are "old." I save up to buy a new camera, so I can have memories. I look forward to my next trip, cause I love to travel. But these kids have next to nothing, and yet we sit around. They are not that far away, and we may even know someone who knows someone that we could send money to to help them, even $20 is better than nothing.
Did you know, that 85% of the world survives on $5000 or under- a year!
That is poverty here in the states! Yet most of the world does it. If we sent even a small amount, on a regular basis, how much good could come of it?
I am not just talking momentary, daily needs, I am talking about eternity.
Do we really understand that? Eternity. We all spend it somewhere. Either in Heaven or Hell. Americans have become callous to that fact. But there is a world out there that needs Jesus just as much as you and I! One payment of $20 could help fund a box of Bibles making its way to Ecuador, that ultimately makes its way into a poor home, that leads the father to Christ, that later witnesses to his friends and family.
I am not just making this up, these are real accounts, with real people all over the world. There was a story that I heard that hasn't left me since.
A group was going through the Gospel presentation in a tribe in Africa, and at the end, told anyone that wanted to that they could receive the free gift of salvation. Many raised there hands. After leading them in prayer he told the group that whoever wanted to could come forward and get a Bible. the only thing was they had to agree to read it. People gave their word, and took the Bibles. Sometime later, a man came back to the group and asked for another Bible. Being in short demand, the missionary questioned him and asked him why. The man replied "I went forward to get a Bible so that I could use it to roll up and smoke with it. But just like I agreed, before I would roll a page I would read it. I smoked my way through Matthew, Mark, Luke. And John smoked me."
Did you see that? The man may never have had any previous knowledge of Jesus Christ, but the Bible is so impactful, so self-edifying, so powerful, that all the man had to do was read it!
I have many more things that I want to say, unfortunately time is short, and I leave soon with many things left to do.
But I want to leave you with this.
We look at history, there used to be so many GREAT missionaries. William Carey, Hudson Taylor, Cameron Townsend. But we don't see things like that anymore.
Because no one goes.
Students graduate from seminary and go to a prospering community, with a "safe" job.
I don't want that.
A popular song lyrics goes "I will go Lord, send me."
How many of us see that, sing it, and are never moved by it. I challenge you, if you do not really mean the words that are on the projector during a Sunday service, do God a favor, and DON'T sing them. God wants people that are committed to Him. He wants people that are willing to go. Wherever that may be. Maybe even your neighbor. I want to write about it later, but what is your mission field? It is right where you are. Go across the street to that disturbing neighbor, and share Christ.
Remember we are all dirty, rotten, sinners. But one thing we have that a majority of the world doesn't have, is grace. We are SAVED by GRACE! (Eph. 2.8-9)
If we were all willing to go, even to the neighbor we hold a grudge against, think about how the world would be different. There are many out there looking, praying to SOMETHING to just to know there is more. There is more, and we have it, so go preach it (Rom. 10.17)!
I have no idea what God has planned for this trip, I do not know what is going to happen, other than GREAT and MIGHTY things. And that is okay, God is all knowing, I do not need to know.
I could die.
But one thing I am okay with, is dying a martyr.
"The blood of the martyr is the seed of the church"
Better in my book to die a martyr, than to die in a bed of old age.
I often reflect on what God is going to say to me in heaven, and the six words I want to hear are:
"Well done good and faithful servant."
What are you going to hear when you get to heaven?