I only made one blog post last week. Diane and I spent most of the week on Long Island, NY with Adam and Michael hanging drywall in a home that is being built by Samaritan’s Purse. It’s a new home that’s replacing one destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012. It was our fourth trip with Samaritan’s Purse. We have taken 13 different people with us on SP trips. Assuming they have the space, our son Adam (who has been on three with SP) was the official leader of this last trip and he plans to take a group Jan. 5-9 and I probably won’t be going with them.
Samaritan’s Purse sent a group of us to tarp a roof on Friday afternoon. Some people from the neighborhood came by. As others in my group were tarping the roof, I was doing the most important work. I was talking to people about Jesus. The primary reason Samaritan’s Purse does what they do is so that the Good News of Jesus Christ can be proclaimed.
While some churches and denominations send people on missions that seem to apologize for the Gospel or to bow to other religions as if they are all the same, SP goes places to proclaim the Name of Jesus – unashamed of the name of Jesus. SP proclaims that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and that without Him, people are destined for an eternity apart from God. If another religion also results in you being with God when you die, what kind of sense does it make that God would send His Son to die as one of many ways?
Building homes in the United States, bringing shoe boxes filled with gifts to Iraqi refugees, providing tarps in Haiti, buying goats and chickens for people in Africa, flying kids to the United States for life saving surgery, and all the rest serve one primary purpose. They do all of this as an avenue to tell people about Jesus. It also allows them to follow His command to help the least of these. And when they allow us to go on mission with them, they are allowing us to participate in Kingdom building.
I pray that we have the same motives here at Wesley Chapel. Everything we do at the schools, in the community, through the food pantry, with athletic teams, at the homeless shelter, in supporting missionaries, and all the other “good works” is for one primary purpose – to proclaim Jesus. For those who already know Him as Lord, we and our good works can be an affirmation. For those teetering on belief, we and our good works can be just what they need to finally turn their lives over to Him. And to those in foreign lands who have never heard the Name – we and our good works can be the reason they believe.
(If you’re interested, the mission trips are free to all volunteers, paid for by donors who believe in the same mission. I blogged about the free trips here.)