Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This is a year of firsts for me in missions. I took my first overseas missions trip in February to minister at Salvation Rock Church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (see my article on “Solid Rock Churches”) and now I am taking part in my first short term summer mission trip with CBC.
First let me say that the staff is extremely excited about this summer’s all-church mission trip. Despite the enormous, seemingly impossible logistical challenge of organizing a mission trip for the entire congregation, we have managed to find housing, transportation, meals, and even jobs for everyone in a major urban center in the Northeast. Many believe that this major urban center might be the starting place of the next great nation-wide revival and churches around the country have been sending short term mission teams there for years to break up the hard spiritual soil in preparation for the seed of the Kingdom of God.
Now it is our turn to join in! Are you ready? Willing? Here is the major Northeast urban center that we will be ministering in: Boston and Cambridge, MA! Known as the Athens of America and famous for their renowned universities such as Boston University, Harvard, and MIT (listed alphabetically to avoid favoritism); Boston and Cambridge represent a unique challenge for the Kingdom of God. Here the mighty clash between the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of God is felt deeply in the culture and society.
So this summer presents a unique opportunity for us to live out the empowering of Pentecost as we step out of our comfort zones and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. While many short term mission teams forgo the comfort of their own beds and routines to serve in some distant city or country, our summer mission trip confronts us with a different type of discomfort. In fact, the discomfort we face by staying at home and being on mission in the context of our everyday lives and routines is far greater than the temporary discomforts of being away from home. It is the discomfort of identifying with Jesus to the people you work with, the people you live with, the people you go to school with, the people in your neighborhood, etc. It is the discomfort of bearing the name of Christ in a place and time in which it is welcomed or esteemed.
A summer mission trip should be challenging and rewarding, stretching and satisfying. We will accomplish this with clear expectations, good training, weekly encouragement, devoted prayer, lots of stories, and many laughs. These details will be communicated beginning June 3 with signs-ups taking place throughout the month of June. We will “leave” for our “trip” on July 1 and “return” on September 2. I am excited to share this trip with all of you!