"I miss my little kids so bad," were Susie's words a year ago when she returned from her first mission trip. They'd gone to a poverty-stricken area in Arkansas and came back with a new perspective.
When American middle class meets poverty right in its own backyard, the result is usually life-altering. That's our goal in sending our kids out of their comfort zones and into the darkness where the overwhelming majority of the world lives. We can preach and teach and show movies and pictures, but nothing touches the heart of a child who's known nothing but love and wealth like meeting another child who's known none.
"She didn't want to go home, Mom," Susie cried as she tried to describe the precious little ones who'd wrapped themselves around her heart and changed her forever. "She said her daddy beats her. She clung to me and asked if she could live with me, Mom. And she was only four years old."
They'd gone to minister, to serve, to help and teach, but that one week of sweltering heat, sleeping on the floor, head lice, and filth taught them more than a thousand teachers with charts and videos. They poured out the love that's been showered on them from conception and found it wasn't enough to make much difference and the sorrow ate at their heart the rest of the year.
So, they've gone back. Another long road trip, sweltering heat, discomfort, other people's filth to try once more to bring God's love to people starving for it. And once more, they'll feel they didn't make much difference. What's one week out of 52?
One week is enough. They are forever changed.
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