“No One Else is Willing to Come Out Here”

I’m still processing all God did among us in West Africa.  In some ways, this was the hardest mission trip I have ever been on in the fact of the conditions and what it takes to get there.  In other ways, it was the easiest in that it was very simple in theory.  Our primary objective was to share the gospel.

When speaking to our partnering missionary, I told him how difficult it was to get to him.  I had to fly across the world.  Then drive across the country.  Then walk across the desert.  Then, I was where he wanted me.  He said, “This is frontline missions.  There’s a reason your church was the last one to visit me months ago.  No one else is willing to come out here.  It’s too far.  Too hard.”

It was interesting to find out that out of the 18 summer volunteers serving with them this summer, 6 of them are from North Side, 3 are from Brook Hills (David Platt’s church), and the rest are from different locations.  Out of all the Southern Baptist churches, only 2 “radical” churches (sorry for the pun) are willing to encourage their students to go there.  And that is the reason why we must continue to go.

North Side has always been mission-minded and missionary.  We have gone on numerous trips, but, like many other churches, it could resort to placing pins on a map rather than making a significant dent in a certain location’s darkness.  We have a partnership with these wonderful IMB missionaries.  Our goal was to make them family.  That is happening.  They have never stepped foot on our campus, but they are a part of our family.

In a day when missions has unfortunately been watered down merely to digging wells and such, I am thankful for the Spirit’s work in our church to share the gospel.  Compassion for people is wonderful, but if we don’t preach the gospel, then what lasting good can we really do the people?

We got to go on a trek to 5 villages in the desert to be a second voice with the gospel.  One of our teams went in January and found these villages and shared the gospel with them for the first time.  We got to serve as a followup team.  The picture above is me sharing how I couldn’t do enough good deeds to “tip the scales” to earn my way to heaven.  Somehow else would have to do it for me.  While we had differing responses, it was amazing to see how the gospel is penetrating lives and changing villages.

Till you come, we will go, to the world till all may know.