Handcuffs? Check. Web belt? Check. "Red" gun? Check. Bibles? Check!!! Some people have a little trouble with the security checks at airports. My husband and his fellow Christian cops have a wee bit more trouble than most folks. This is because some of the things they bring on their journeys are, well, suspicious-looking. (Those Bibles are pretty threatening to some people!) J. belongs to a team of Christian law enforcement officials, who minister to the police (or military) in other countries. This hardy band of volunteers have visited Russia, several Central American countries, and some South American countries. They teach police tactics, ethics, and physical safety techniques to build a rapport with the men and women. And they share the gospel with them. Sometimes they work through translaters, sometimes they have a team member who speaks the language. On 2 or 3 of the Russian trips, they had a reserved, somewhat cynical former KGB agent doing the translating. He translated the gospel for Russian cops and military. He translated a "sinner's prayer" into Russian. At the end of the last trip, he took them to the train station. As the train pulled out, he said, "Goodbye, my BROTHERS! God bless you." On another trip, a Russian combat vet protested that he couldn't be forgiven, because he had done horrific things. On that particular trip, one of the American cops "Happened" to be a combat vet! He was able to minister to the Russian soldier and lead him to the Messiah/Christ. My husband is not an elegant speaker, and prefers doing the hand-to-hand and weapons training part, to talking in front of a large crowd, but God had used him in unexpected ways. On a trip to Guatamala, one of the planned sessions fell through. The team was taken to visit a juvenile jail. The team had no plan and no experience with preaching to incarcerated kids. The cops stood on one side of the room, and the boys on the other. There was an uneasy silence. J. spoke to the kids- "I don't know what you've done to get her, or how you're feeling right now, but I do know how your parent's are feeling, because my son spend time in jail for helping to rob a store..." The kids began to open up, and the team ministered to them. Also on these trips, the team hands out Bibles in the language of the people. They encourage those who have made a decision for Christ to find a church home. So maybe it's not so different a mission trip, after all...
I just love this type of real life situations of evangelization and mission works. He will multipy the little that we put in. Our God is more than sufficient! Praise the Lord.
Praise God for these dedicated men. God works in wonderful ways.
During spring break, 16 teens from my church went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. This was so far from the typical spring break trip most take to the beaches and party sites! These youngsters worked hard in heat and insect infested conditions. the spent a week without electricity and hot water. For several days they had no running water.
No iPhones, iPods or facebook. No texting. Just hard work.
One of the young women on this trip has always been somewhat withdrawn, self centered and living without much purpose. As they we preparing to leave, she asked our youth minister: "Will we be coming back here again next year? Will we work with the same kids?"
"I don't know for sure, but I hope so" he replied. "Why?"
"I think I need to enroll in Spanish next year so that I can talk directly with the kids" she replied.
All of the kids who took this trip came back profoundly changed.
Sometimes mission trips like these end up doing as much mission trip for the missionaries as they do for those being served!
Oh, yeah, sometimes conditions are very rough. At one place the only hot water came from a weird looking device the guys named the "widow maker"- & lots of places have no hot water...
&, yes, it does a lot for the ones serving. "J." is even more of an introvert than I am. In the early yrs. of our marriage I prayed & prayed he would find a way to minister, & this is his nitch. (To be honest, it scares me a little when he goes on his trips, but that's where God wants him.)
Marjorie, In my experiences, when you talk to kids from real life , you dont have to use bad language (they hear enough in movies, music). Just taking time to tell your story without sugar coating it is what they say"keeping it real".( i know cause i have 2 teen girls and 4 teen grandchilden lol
God will always give you what you need to do what he wants you to do.He didnt call everyone to "sound like shakespear lol be blessed
God bless J and the other men who travel with him into various places in the world! They need our encouragement. If they make a difference in just one life, then they have made a difference in eternity.
I went through a missionary induction course last year. It was eye opening to note the preparations required for cultural shock, immigration requirements and how to react when certain statements to "floor" us are made by foreign officials which should not be allowed to floor us when seeking entry to a foreign missions trip venue.
Coming from urban and prosperous Singapore many students under government sponsorship are today given such induction trips to study how the rest of the world lives. I believe we should be prepared for cross cultural living as Christians especially in this global environment. Exporting of people is no longer a rarity and what more of Christians in the end times. We should prepare for all eventualities - to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Thanks marjorie for sharing on the subject of mission trips which is dear to my heart and more so the heart of God.
Thank you for your comments. We really should be prepared. I think the area of preparation most lacking in the U.S. is language training. Many public school systems do not teach other languages till high school. But it is so much easier to learn for young children. Shalom, Marjorie