A group of us from the San Jacinto Baptist Association went to the Rio Grande Valley this past weekend on a mission trip. This trip is an annual mission trip in our association. This year we went to Mercedes, Texas.
I look forward to this activity each year for a number of reasons:
*It is a fairly inexpensive mission trip
*it is only a 6 hour or so one way trip
*it is a kid friendly trip (I counted 5 kids, 7 youth)
*we are able to help and encourage a smaller church and a small church pastor
*we are able to bring smiles to the faces of the children
*the good news of Jesus is shared
On Saturday, we heard a brief accounting of that little church's history. It was amazing to hear how God brought about what other's were saying was impossible. We then went door to door in the colonias. We invited people to the block party, handed out gospel tracts and verbally told people about Jesus. It was tremendous. I personally was able to share the gospel with two people.
In the afternoon, we set up for the block party. Since the church grounds were filed with mud, we set it up right on the street. Everyone had a role. I didn't see anyone doing nothing. Isn't that the way it should be in our churches? Everyone busy serving.
Again the good news of Jesus was shared. One of the ones to share their testimony was my son Benjamin. He's 11 yeas old. He shared about five sentences in total with each being translated into Spanish. My wife shared the real Christmas story using a coloring book and an evanga-cube. She shared with lots of children and finally to the whole crowd. But, they weren't the only ones to share! Many others shared their testimonies. Willie and Angie Rosales sang gospel songs. And an evangelist at the end brought it all together. I don't know the numbers, but the result was new brothers and sisters in Christ.
God was so good to us. He even held off the rain until we had everthing packed back into the trailer. And boy did it rain!
When we arrived at the church building on Sunday morning, the mud in front of the buildng was now a small pond. However, we overcame this challenge, and it didn't seem to keep the people from coming either! It was standing room only! I would dare say that 300 people were there in that small buildilng. The children even had a happy birthday cake for Jesus. And the last item on the agenda was to distribute the Christmas stockings to the kids. My favorite picture from this trip is that of a little girl holding on to her stocking present and it's over half her size!
It's still amazing what happens when God's people pray, work together with perseverance and flexibilty, give of themselves to others, and step out to share Christ! You don't have to go to the Valley to be a part of such an amazing adventure. Start right where you are today. God can use you.
Be blessed and be a blessing to others this Christmas season!