Why We Go
Rev. Dr. John Daniel, who serves on The Outreach Foundation's Board of Trustees, wrote the following blog this spring when Outreach had a team in the Middle East. We are happy to share his reflections:
From time to time I hear people question the value of short-term mission trips saying, "What do they accomplish?" Over the years of ministry I have never declined in my conviction of the deep and rich value of those who go for a week, two weeks or a month to the mission field. TODAY I have four friends who are in Lebanon and Syria VISITING and SEEING what God is doing in this world of His creation. They will not build a church, they will not treat the sick, they will not run a VBS (all of which have great value in missions) but they will sit with people whose very lives are threatened. And they will worship in churches where terrorists have tried to overtake life.
What great value it is to those who spend every minute of everyday serving Jesus under great danger and hardship. I am glad these folks are there. I am glad they will sip tea, pray, talk about what is happening and allow Syrian children to see American Christians who will risk the trip, spend the money and simply come and visit to say WE CARE BECAUSE OF WHO JESUS IS TO US.
I invite you to pray for my friends. Pray for THEIR friends in Lebanon and Syria. Pray for suffering children who suffer merely because they are born into a believing family who follows Jesus under the direct, face to face threat of terrorism.
Jesus is LORD. Lord of all. So, until the day when all worship and praise Jesus, this is how we are called to live our lives. May my friends be safe but more, may their presence bring joy, encouragement and strength to those who follow Jesus in such places. Horrible things are happening in our world, but look at this! This is what God is doing in those places. Now, that is a different conversation.
Rev. Dr. John Daniel
Crestwood Presbyterian Church, Richmond, VA