In the week our team has been serving here in Tacloban (Philippines) I’ve heard this probably a dozen times and I suspect this is often the case for other Adventures in Missions trips around the world. We get asked this because the team acts as though they have known and loved each other for many years despite never having met until they arrived on location last week. It was obvious from day one that, in addition to serving the community here, the team members wanted to dig into each other’s lives (in a good way) and found it easy to open-up to each other and share their dreams and fears, the pretty stuff and the ugly stuff. Needless to say, it’s been really beautiful and a testament to the shared friendship they have with Jesus.
The Lighthouse Ministry we are working with do twice daily feedings at nearby primary schools where our team helps serve the food to the kids and then spend time playing and engaging with them. When we are not doing that we visit various local public schools and do “values classes” where we sing songs, act out skits about bible stories, and memorize a short bible verse. Additionally, we had the opportunity to visit a few high schools and share our testimonies and visit with the older students.
The simple yet crucial lesson we all have learned through visiting these various places this past week is that, despite the chaos, there is always a small group of kids that we can tell are really connecting with what we are sharing and that those are the ones we are really here to serve. As Heidi Baker often says, we have to “stop for the one,” and not worry about the masses but instead celebrate the one person we are able to connect with and share the love of Jesus with.
I think during short term missions and even in our daily lives back in the States, it’s important to bury that idea into our heart; the idea that we may go through seasons of life that seem fruitless but sometimes, it turns out to all have been about making a difference in the life of one person.