As I sit in my favorite hangout, the local Starbucks, I am thinking of the incredible sacrifice I have made; I have not enjoyed a real cup of coffee and especially ‘Starbuck’s’ BOLD in the last eight days. The thought might cross your mind, “is this really a sacrifice?” The obvious answer is NO. Although, there were some real sacrifices made by a group of teenagers and adults from Peace Haven & Eagle Heights Churches.
I am always amazed and sometimes surprised to hear the reasons people go on short-term mission trips. They range from, ‘I have never been out of the country’, too, ‘I am a fulfilling the Great Commission’. Whatever the answer might be one thing always seems to happen, a paradigm shift. Simply stated, the individual’s focus changing from self to others. It is so easy to get caught up in ‘who we are’ and ‘what we are doing’ for the cause of Christ that we sometimes loose focus on what God wants to change in us.
This past week I asked some of the young people what they hoped to accomplish in Riachuelo, Bonanza and Rio Negro. They were all excited and wanted to do something from performing a puppet show, to singing praise songs and even giving the clothes they had saved for a needy child. Yes, I set them up! I knew what would happen.
The Church or the body of Christ has been commissioned to go into all the world and share the wonderful love & sacrifice of Jesus Christ, teaching and baptizing in His name. What we sometimes miss is, He also wants to change our hearts through what we see and feel as we minister to others. In my opinion the greatest miracle that takes place on a short-term mission trip is the change that occurs in the heart of the servant. You see, there were some young people on this trip that once they return home they will never be the same. They will be the next generation of Christians sold out 100% for the cause of Christ. One of my favorite illustrations is, “If Christ was willing to carry a cross up a hill and lie down on it to be crucified for me, what can I do for Him?”
The sacrifice of a coffee connoisseur, a group of teenagers and adults over the last eight days was significant in the light of eternity, but our true sacrifice lies in the daily denial of self in exchange to be recognized as followers of Christ o Sigadors de Cristo.
We miss them already.
En Pos de Dios!