The day to day mission work has begun to look the same in concept, but there always seems to be vastly different teachings from each day. The day starts with the team sharing their favorite bible verses over breakfast. This time sets the pace for the rest of the day as we set out to do work in the name of Jesus. We then go to different schools to provide a sports camp or sorts for the children here. This time is very precious for the children, and they love to hang out with us as we throw around objects of all sorts. We have grown to love the children here.
After a couple hours of sports camp, the team comes back for a quick lunch followed by providing a vacation bible school to some of the local churches. This time has been a challenge, but a rewarding one. The church we traveled to today was unique in the sense of elevation. The church is so high on the mountains that the clouds literally touch you as they come by. We had around 200 children pile into the church, and I had the opportunity to teach them that God is our protection. While I prepared to teach this to them, I couldn't help but ask myself, "What is the point of this teaching?" It is good to know that God is our protection, but how does that change my life or anyone elses on a day to day basis?
Truth is a funny thing. We are free to believe or deny it, and our actions can believe or deny it as well. We learn things in churches, from people, or even on mission trips and our lives continue to be stagnant. There isn't any transformation taking place, although we are learning transformational things. This concept was present in Jesus' time as well. Although there had been many people who knew the law of God, there was no transormation that was taking place. The problem was that the truth they knew was dwelling solely in their mind and never in their heart. We often operate the same way. We know that God is faithful, yet we refuse to act out on faith. We know that God is protector, but we feel the need to protect ourselves.
We needed to do more than relay information to children. We needed to teach them how to live lives that honor God. Today, we taught the kids to act out as God told Joshua to as he prepared to lead an entire nation of people to an unknown promised land. God's message to Joshua in his anxiety and fear was "Be strong and courageous." I feel that's what God wanted to say to all of us today.
Mission work can feel really random at times, but in retrospect it has been plain to see God's hand on our time here. He has been leading the team on a journey to not settle for solely knowing the truth, but also experiencing the bold crossing of taking truth from the mind to the heart. This trip continues to be an amazing endevor for everyone on Team Vinke, and God will continue to bless our efforts, so long as we continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus.