I go on mission trips to be away.
Away from students, crowds, expectations…
Away from social media, popular culture, and the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Away from the world…
How strange, though, that I go to be away from many things and yet encounter so many others, such as extreme poverty, despair, hopelessness, and people who have so little to live on though the brightest smiles alight on their face when you greet them in their native tongue.
What I notice most strongly on a mission trip is how well- or ill-equipped I am to meet the human beings I encounter along the way. My being equipped is directly correlated with my communion with God.
Jesus often went away to be alone. It was in His being alone that He met with God, and was
filled and enabled to encounter the weight of the world.
Jesus didn’t go to be alone to avoid people and never be around them, but rather to better meet and be attuned to their needs.
It is in the getting away, I believe, that we are found. It is also in the getting away that we are filled. We re-encounter the powerful, living Father that has been there all along, before the beginning of time, and remember we have access to the greatest riches, power, and glory in our Lord Jesus Christ – access to not only salvation, but a living hope, peace, joy, and even miracles.
When my sister Lily first told me of her plans to start a campus out in Bugira, she took me out to the land she had purchased in faith, believing that God was directing her to that place. I was highly skeptical as from all practical standpoints that did not seem possible. Two years later, I am present on this campus and it serves as a reminder that nothing, NOTHING, is impossible for God and for those who believe in Him and in His word.
My prayer in faith for this campus is that it would be used to bring hope and restoration to thousands of lives, both those coming to serve from afar and those in and around the village as well as the entire beautiful country of Uganda. I pray that God would be magnified, lifted high, and that people would feel His goodness. Jesus came to bring us hope. In this desolate world, how magnificent to know He came that we might have life, and life more abundantly.
Though I am here to be away from many things, I am most eager to reconnect with the living God and to meet Him here in this place. Blessed be His name!