Posted by Scott - Final Thoughts
It generally takes a week or so to get back into the regular groove of life once you go on a successful mission trip. Yes, it is an adventure when it is to a foreign place, but it is also a time when your mind and heart get stuffed to overflowing with rich events and ideas. The result is that you must take some time to sort out what you have seen and done, so that you can boil it down and apply it to the every-day life God has given you. Every year I seem to have to process a different set of things. Each time the trip events are similar, but the impact is different based on the condition of my heart.
Usually, I am the one that spearheads the completion of tasks, while Brad tends to the needs of the families. This year we had twice as many men in our group as we usually do. It gave me the freedom to observe the people and to involve myself in way that I have not done in the past. I have said on multiple occasions that I love the people we serve with in Guatemala. They are like family. I yearn to see them, and am broken-hearted to leave them. On this trip I think God needed me to clearly understand why.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but have eternal life.” John 8:12. He did not say I am the light of the United States of America, and if you middle class Americans follow me, then I will let you be the light of the world to all those other folks less special than you. Jesus sacrificed himself equally for the CEO of a fortune 500 company and for the Guatemalan farmer who thinks he won the lottery because someone gave him a handful of donated t-shirts. We all suffer, blunder, dream, build, whine and claw our way through life, but until each of us individually surrenders our heart to Jesus we remain lost.
The fact that the truth of the gospel plays itself out in the volcanic valleys of Xepac, Guatemala the exact same way as it does in Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Hong Kong, Dubai, or Cape Town is proof to me that every person on the planet is of equal value to God. He says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11. “You” means ALL of us. It is his promise to ALL of us.
The simple truth is that I love my Guatemalan brothers and sisters because where it counts, we are the same. We are an equal mess, but we are also equally blessed, equally loved, and equally in need of God’s grace. If I am willing to travel to a foreign country to share Jesus with a Guatemalan farmer who smells like a campfire, and wears clothes that I wouldn’t use as rags, then why don’t I have the same motivation to share the gospel with my next door neighbor? How about my co-worker that constantly invites me to the strip club, or to my daughter’s, atheist science teacher? Well, stay tuned. That is the next step in my walk.