Are Mission Trips Still Relevant?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 18, 2011 0 comments

“You stole our land, and I hate white people! Leave us alone!”
These words were quite a rude awakening to hear as the leader of our mission trip to minister to the homeless in Toronto, Canada. I can only imagine what the high school students thought who were with me.
The man who spoke those harsh words was a Native American in a wheelchair with a cast on his leg. He was a very large man who didn’t look, talk, or smell like the five students I had with me from a small town in Ohio. I pretty much had nothing in common with this man either. He was accompanied by a Native American woman who must have been his wife, girlfriend, or sister but I am unsure.
Before he told us to leave, we tried talking to them about life or whatever they wanted to discuss, but he was pretty angry at the world and put most of the blame on society and everyone else. He wouldn’t let us touch him and neither would his companion. I’ll just say this: witnessing to them about the love of Jesus Christ wasn’t going well, for they wanted to hear nothing about it. We did our best just to be civil and loving toward them but soon moved on.
After our amazing day at an intersection with a bunch of street kids (you can read about this in a previous blog), we needed to head back to meet up with our group.  We only had about 10 minutes to make a 15 minute walk, so I knew we had to hoof it.
On our way, one of the youth in our group heard someone say, “Help, help us please.”
I heard it too and almost kept going, but the student stopped and looked so we all stopped. It was the Native American lady from earlier in the day. She said, “Ronnie’s hurt. He fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t get him back in it. He’s behind that wall and I think he’s hurt pretty bad. Please help.”
We all knew our group was waiting for us but it didn’t matter. Why else had we gone up to Canada in the first place but to show people the love of Christ? Our group would have to wait. We hoped they would understand.
Not only were we able to help this man into his wheelchair, but also they both were willing to have an enjoyable conversation with us. They were even receptive to hearing the Good News about Jesus Christ and His love for them.
We were able to pray with them and pray for the healing of Ronnie’s leg. We even were able to share some food with them as well.  By both our actions and our words, we had the privilege of being witnesses.
Acts 1:7-8: Jesus said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Were lives changed on that trip? Yes! And I’m not just talking about the two people from Toronto. I’m sure that our interactions on that mission trip left a lasting impression on the hearts of the students just as they did on mine.