Where does one start when talking about the adventure God has them on? I suppose to begin with my first cross culture mission trip would be as good a place as anything.
In 2003 I had the amazing opportunity to lead a group of teens from First Baptist Church Sudbury on the CBOQ’s Short Term Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic. I experienced for the first time a world so much bigger than what any third world TV commercial ever provided. I walked along side people who had so little, yet so much more than I ever had. I hugged children who were in need. Shook the hand of a man marginalized by the world. I cleared sidewalks in the heat, play with children on dirt streets, build walls for a school, and I experienced an encounter with the God who is both revealed and hidden in those who are oppressed or marginalized.
A song that became (for me anyways) the theme for that trip was “Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble” by Delirious. The words that would not leave my head were;
“Fling wide your heavenly gates, Prepare the way of the risen Lord. Open up the doors and let the music play, Let the streets resound with singing, Songs that bring your hope, Songs that bring your joy, Dancers who dance upon injustice”
I was wrestling with a lot back then. Do I stay in ministry as a pastor or return to the family business? In the midst of that battle, I did make a decision that would ultimately take almost a decade to fulfill. I decided that when Tyler (I only had one back then!) was old enough, I wanted him and Jen to experience what I experienced. I did not want to wait till Tyler was a teenager before he came face to face with the realities of this world. There is something about experiencing another culture that the best pictures and most professional video can not give a person. Walking along side a person, doing life together if even for a brief time can have a profound affect on people.