I now sit here driving back from the camp and it is hard for me to wrap my head around where exactly these last 16 days went. Yesterday, I was saying goodbye to friends at PDX and today I am packing for the trip home again. At the same time, this journey has been packed with so much for me – most notably the gaining of a new perspective.
At New Heights Church we have been talking about the difference between a pilgrim and a tourist. This distinction became strikingly clear for me on this mission trip. There are so many amazing things to see and do in a new and foreign culture but, at the end of the day, that is not the reason that we came. We made this trip to spread the Good News and love of Christ. That requires patience. That requires sacrifice. That requires trust that God will move in the places that we simply can’t reach.
We came into camp with three goals:
1) Share the love and Gospel of Jesus
2) Build community among this first class of the CCE high school
3) Teach English
Last night I sat at the night meeting and listened to all of the students join together, in English, to sing Beautiful by Phil Wickham. It was one of those moments when I couldn’t help but smile at God’s work. EGMT was an imperfect camp, led by very imperfect people, and yet, in the end, the Lord’s fingerprints can still be seen everywhere. In a world where results of work are so often not seen, such affirmation was incredibly encouraging.
I want to end now by thanking everyone for the prayers that were sent our way. I am here to say that we most definitely felt them and appreciated the encouragement. I now ask for a new prayer: that whatever impact we have made will simply be the start of something beyond our comprehension. Something that is bigger than worship and jelly talks, but that makes an impact on eternity. After all, looking towards the destination, something greater than ourselves, is what a pilgrim is all about.
His Kingdom come, His Will be done.