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Being on a mission trip is always an incredibly invigorating adventure.  Having been on several now, I want to share with you some of the thoughts I’ve accumulated, especially from the trip just ended with our church youth group.

I have yet to experience a mission endeavor that doesn’t involve some type of difficult work.  Be it physical labor, seemingly endless preparation and delivery of messages, or even walking in unfamiliar territory to survey damage or assess the needs of a given community, the labor is never easy.

One of the things most difficult to prepare for is how one will deal with the effected people.  Nobody reacts to needs or even tragedy in the same way.  I recall several instances of people affected by hurricanes that were so grateful for their lives being spared from the storm while others were still so caught up in the trauma that they literally were wandering around aimlessly.  I’ve seen people in need so angry about their circumstances that they had great difficulty receiving help while others are so grateful that you’d think you gave them a million dollars.

People are always unique.

While this makes mission preparation somewhat difficult, it also serves as a great reminder of our uniqueness in Christ.  Paul told us that we are all part of the body of Christ and each of us has a unique role to play.  Imagine what the world would look like if people were all the same.  Imagine what the church would look like if we all possessed the same gifts and talents and therefore ideas.  It would seem rather robotic and boring.

Mission work is invigorating in addition to being both physically and emotionally draining.  One of the great blessings of mission work is what happens in the lives of those volunteering.  All mission work leads to some level of change in the person on mission. 

  • Most people I’ve worked with have experienced some sort of re-dedication to the Lord.
  • I’ve seen people inspired to be more involved in their own church.
  • I’ve seen people understanding a call to ministry.
  • I’ve seen people getting saved while working on mission trips.
  • I’ve seen people become dramatically and entirely changed in their whole approach to life.

I just saw most of the above and even more in our youth as they returned from an Impact Virginia trip, including my own children.  God does incredible things in those who do His work.

While on mission, most of the focus is on the task at hand: doing the required work to complete the mission.  It is rarely noticed just how much more is being done in the missionary than the recipient of the mission.  That is why a daily devotional time is critical to enhance the spiritual aspect of mission work.  I always ask my workers, “Where did you see God today?”  The answers are always from the heart and help keep our focus on Jesus as we work.

How does God want to use you on mission?  Overcoming the fear of doing the work of the Lord can be difficult, but remember that God can take faith the size of a mustard seed and move mountains!  Be inspired to be on mission for Christ.  Be inspired to do His will for your life.  The impact that God will have on your life is ineffable; beyond words.

Together, let us press on to do the work of the Lord, as inspired so frequently by our own youth!

Posted September 14, 2008 by David N. Peppler, Sr. in Christian Lifestyle, Mission, Service

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