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Craving restoration that lasts

God changed lives this summer.
Whether you participated in a mission trip halfway around the world or halfway across town, the Lord used you to impact someone you met. You may never see the result, but someone was transformed by your actions.
Hopefully, you were too.
Now, as the leaves turn orange, as you return to your workplaces, your campuses and your routines, we pray that you won’t forget those transformative experiences — something that happens all too easily in the rush and crush of daily life.
Christian recording group Caedmon’s Call addresses this in their 2007 song “Two Weeks in Africa” — one of the few tunes to address short-term missions. The song tells the story of a girl who traveled to South Africa and worked with the impoverished.
Johannesburg to Houston, she came home on a mountain.
But school was starting, things kept moving on. Before you knew it, seven years had gone.
She found a picture of her, standing, smiling, arms around the starving kids she swore to not forget.

The song then talks about how involvement in short-term missions leads to long-term support for efforts that include well-drilling and medical ministries in the developing world.
We see other benefits of short-term missions as well. Time and again, we’ve heard stories of church-sponsored efforts, on a local scale, that developed from international missions. Those who have traveled to Central America to bring medicine and healing to the poor have looked at their own communities and said “Why not here?”
Keeping a passion for mission throughout the year could mean something as simple as volunteering at your church’s food pantry. See our Page 1 story about a small church in Delaware. They took their food pantry — something thousands of churches already have — and turned it into a calling. Their lesson exemplifies the words of 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
If you’re going to have a food pantry, make it the best food pantry in your city.
We rejoice that Christians increasingly are answering the call to get their hands dirty — to get involved in their communities through acts of service, with the goal of restoration, the way things ought to be.
Church researcher Gabe Lyons talks about that in our Dialogue on Page 23. In his book, “The Next Christians,” he says that believers “aren’t only concerned with helping broken people — they see an all-encompassing vision in which restoration fuels everything they do. It permeates every part of their being.”
Pray that the mountaintop experiences of summer missions will not dwindle as the air gets colder.

Search for new ways to share God’s love, bringing restoration to our churches, our communities and the world.


Filed under: Editorial Opinion

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