The passports are filed and are safely stowed in the clear catch-alls around our necks that Josh provides on every mission trip. Come to think of it, my current catch-all has some unidentified smudges left over from New York. The clothes have been packed along side of a half dozen beef jerkys and a jar of peanut butter, because well, you just never know how the food situation may turn out.
This is mish-mash of old and young, college age kids and middle age moms and dads, some on their first mission trip and others have done this before and know what is going down. And we all wait at gate E-3 with half a dozen tourist going to spend spring break in Dominican Republic. Right there Josh opens up The Word and shares the immutability of God and although our today and yesterday looks far different from our yesterday, we can trust that God is the same. Always.
I look at the couple next to me. They are obviously going to be poolside for the next week. I look on the other side of me to girls in my group laughing and bright eyed with excitement. They will sweat and work hard and give out love like it’s free. Their excitement is palpable.
Why? Why would they go? Why spend your spring break in a village with dirt roads and people you don’t know? We are on the plane now and Josh passes us the napkins that held his pretzels a few minutes ago. He has scrawled a verse under the imprint. Maybe he knows that some of us need a little extra courage.
See, those disciple in the book of Luke were right. It’s about changing the world. Not always with a huge evangelistic crusade, sometimes it happens one by one. A mission trip is about exposing ourself to the hugeness of the need and listening to God ask me, “What are you going to do about it?”
I’m not sure who, if anyone, is going to have a radical transformation because I spent a few days on a mission trip. I pray someone does, but God assures me that transformation is about obedience. If I let Him, He wants to refocus my attention to more important things, like the urgency to share the gospel with these people and the ones at home. Because I get complacent in my spoiled American life. Because I am in desperate need of Him to rock my world, maybe shake up my perspective a tad.