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October 26, 2007

My heart is in ministry. I have gifts in ministry. I have a passion for very specific aspects of ministry. Serving other people in the form of organized mission, sadly, is not one of my primary passions… I know people who are selfless, others-centered, and passionate about missions.

Recently I overheard someone talking about folks who take mission trips to Africa, spending $5,000 on a place ticket for a two week trip. Their main point was that it is a waste of money because this money could have been spent on folks in Dallas. This person kept focusing on how this money could have been better allocated at home. There are people in need wherever you live and if you have $5,000, spend it on them.

This made me angry. I wasn’t sure why. This person is absolutely right. That money could be allocated differently. However, like prayer changes us and not God, I believe that going where we are called (Africa, Mexico, or Dallas) to minister to folks all over the world, changes us. Sure, building houses in Juarez changes the lives of families who received the homes. But even more so, building a house for a family in need changes the work-team. Who knows if spending $5,000 to go all the way to Africa will ignite an incredible passion for local missions upon return to the States.

There are very special people in my life who are passionate about serving others. They enjoy working with under-privileged children with special needs ranging from attention to physical limitations. They feel called to building, providing medical care, and helping however they can all over the world, regardless of the living conditions.

Ultimately if we all had the view of this person that I overheard, the money would stay in countries that have money, and countries without funding would remain poor. And furthermore, getting out of your normal environment or comfort zone, heightens your ability to see beyond yourself. Mission trips are more than spending money. If we don’t help people all over the world, who will? If God is calling you to serve in another part of the globe, go. God is calling you for a reason. If you don’t go, who will?

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