It occurs to me that as I am writing about what I'm learning from my experiences with mission trips, I really need a new word to replace "missions". I have a feeling that my defination of missions and the typical Christian's defination of missions are probably pretty different.
I imagine that most Christians would define missions as going to another place for the purpose of sharing the gospel and converting people to Christianity.
That is not my defination. I'm not opposed to that because I do believe that God works in many different ways and that approach has clearly worked in some cases.
I can't say for certain if it was the goal of the other trips I've been on (Romainia, Haiti) but the goal of the Pine Ridge trips has never been to convert people. Only on one occasion did we even attempt to share the story of Jesus and that was after we had been there for a few years.
For me (and I hope our group) witnessing to people is not our goal. Not that we won't do it if given a clear opportunity, but it's just not our main goal. Our goal isn't even charity or giving to the "poor" although we do give each child a backpack full of school supplies. Our main goal is to be Jesus with skin on to some people and build relationships with them. We hope that as a result of that they will see Christ in us and be drawn to Him, but if that doesn't happen, that's OK. I guess the difference is that rather that "witnessing" to people, we strive to be a witness to them - to simply live out the gospel as any follower of Jesus would do.
So, I'm not sure what you might call that, but that's what we attempt to do.
It's much simpler but it's far from easier.
- My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.