A common question that can be asked, with regards to short-term mission trips such as the one we are taking to the Dominican Republic, would be this:
” Why go halfway across the world, to do something you can do in your back yard? Aren’t there people already there, who could do this in their own back yard?”
I’m going to address this in two parts. As it really is two questions. In this post, I’ll address the question, “Why go so far away, to do that which you can, or should, do here?”
This is a tremendous question. Given our primary mission, to share the good news of Jesus Christ – yes, we SHOULD be doing this in our own circle of influence. If we are not, then why go do it somewhere else?
I confess, I fail at this so often here. In one of our preparation meetings, we were asked to think of someone we could practice our evangelism method with, pray about the opportunity to do this – and then do it. Simple enough! I was actually meeting an old friend after, so why not do it with him? We prayed about this, along with others in the group. Then – nothing. I was with my dear friend for THREE hours. And – nothing… I did bring up our trip, a couple times. But I never flat out asked, “Hey can I practice this with you?”. I chickened out…
So do I just feel like a failure, and give up hope? Do I skip going on this trip? Does my dear friend go to hell???
I can’t speak for my friend. That is up to the Lord, and to a certain degree, my friend. I know the Lord will give me another chance, or someone else, to share with my friend.. He gives everyone every opportunity to seek Him. He’s so good….
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9)
You know – I’ll blow it again. I’ve blown it with some of you. Either by chickening out, or by not being there for you, or by being judgmental or condemning, or by trying to force my view down your throat. And the Lord KNOWS this! And He so graciously uses our failures, even our cowardice. And He gives us grace to get up and do it again. Right here in our back yard. AND – across the world on occasion…. 🙂
If you are someone I have neglected, I am truly sorry. I never want anyone to ask, “Why didn’t you tell me that?”. And to be honest – there are some that could. I love you, and I will do my best to change that. And I pray that even if I have blown it, the good Lord knows this and has provided you ample opportunity to seek Him.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me (Revelation 3:20)