Monday, November 5, 2012

I Took My Daughter On Her First Mission Trip

Besides our day to day ministry my oldest had a chance to "go" outside her everyday culture and serve alongside me this week. We went to work in the projects with the kids there for a music camp. I was a bit afraid making the decision to take my girl but she has always wanted to go on a trip so I could not think of a better way to start.

I explained to her on the way that she cannot expect the same behavior from these kid as she would her peers. She must be able to love them in and among their dysfunction. She must be the hands and heart of Jesus (though I realize we all should be this way around whoever we encounter). She was ready not knowing what to expect.

Now this child of mine has the propensity to try to hold on to rules because rules are safe. She is uncomfortable when rules are broken. I was not sure how this was going to go for her because I knew going in that rules would be broken here. I have worked with kids in this environment before. Kids desperately need clear guidelines and relationships with the authority in their lives that is firm but loving. Many homes are single mother homes lacking a positive male influence in this environment. Many of the mothers are working hard to support their family alone. Many of the kids are at risk for gang involvement. What they need is Jesus. How wonderful it is that people are lead to go into their culture and love them to Jesus declaring His praise.

We were helping some kids make some crafts and they were pretty unruly. We were with a 3rd and 4th grade group. A girl said, "He was screaming like someone being raped." My heart crushed when I heard that. This is something that 3rd and 4th graders should not know about let alone it being a common off the cuff comment. My heart broke for I thought I may have just been given a small glimpse into her world. A world that is not safe and the sacred involved with sex is not respected here so much so that children know about violent things like rape. It opened my eyes so I can pray better for them, for their purity.

It was a blessing to serve them. They need people who will care. People who will not leave them. People who will be there long enough to break through the tough exterior. My daughter loved this work. She wants us to go back. I know we will. I was thankful for that. I wonder if you just take a moment to look around, what kind of ministry might you find in your own city? What other cultures are present right in your "backyard?" Will you go? Will you take the gospel to them even when it may be uncomfortable? What things are you doing right where you are? I would love to hear! Let us encourage one another in our work for the sake of the gospel.

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