Senior Trip 2K12 (Day 4) by Victoria Holloway

Our main job for the day was finishing painting the outside of the New Orleans Mission building. Both days while we were working outside, homeless people loitered around the front of the building as well as a few other people who were associated with or helping out with the mission. Yesterday a few of the girls in our group talked to a man named Jason and were impressed by his passion for the Lord in addition to his spiritual maturity. He began talking to our group by complementing and commending our painting job and not long after begin sharing the story of how God has transformed him from a man on the streets to a man of God. Jason was just like all the other homeless people we saw at the mission and is now being used by our Father to proclaim the good news of God and that “God is good,” as Jason put it; his spiritual depth is undeniable, and he is even making plans for a project he is pursuing. Then today, I and some of the other girls were approached by a man of the name Charles who was also a former homeless person. He showed us pictures of his kids who he was so proud of, talked to us about his life, but most of all spoke about the power of God and how he had been a sinner saved by grace. It amazed me how completely forward but not forceful these men were about sharing their person experiences with God and who their savior was. I remember Charles saying something along the lines of he goes under the bridge (where a mass of homeless people reside) to go and tell them about who Jesus is; he said he makes it personal by sharing what He has done in his own life. I specifically recall him saying his job and our job as Christians is to go and plant the seed – that’s all we have to do, just plant the seed. I think those of us that have been raised in the church have heard about “planting the seed” so much that we get a little nauseous every time someone repeats that phrase (that was a joke). We have become so heavily saturated by sermons that tell us to go out and make disciples that the significance and urgency of it was lost somewhere in between walking out of the church building and going to lunch. I ask myself why is it that I can go on a mission trip to another country where their second language is English and speak boldly about who Jesus Christ is, what he did, what he has done, and what he is still doing but have no urgency to go and tell people about the King of Kings at my local shopping center. It seems ridiculous. Men who were homeless are literally talking everywhere they go about Him, but we lack the passion, the recognition of the pressing seriousness, and the weight of a heavy burden on our hearts for people who are going to hell (sorry no sugar coating here…I’m not really sorry). Have we become apathetic about one of the most important demands of being a Christian? Are we really obeying the first and greatest commandment to love God with everything and along with that love each other as ourselves (let’s be honest we really love ourselves when it comes down to it) if we are not sharing with everyone the most powerful image of love and grace that will anyone will ever know? It is definitely something God has seriously challenged me with; even as I write this, it allows me to see in a deeper and clearer way that He really means it. He won’t stop continually giving me opportunities to recognize this act of defiance until the whole world knows His name.

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