I’m not a frequent mission tripper (and, overthinker that I am, I’ve got actual reasons why; maybe I’ll post on that in the near future). But I recently went on a five-day trip with my church to the deep, unexplored wilds of West Virginia. Our goal was to help a WVa sister church promote their kids’ day camp by going door-to-door handing out fliers in the surrounding neighborhoods. So, we weren’t exactly washing the sores of lepers, but it was one little way we could help to spread God’s love around, and it provided me with some minor revelations.
— The people of West Virginia are really nice folks. I encountered a pretty significant sample set, and I think I can safely say that the people of the Mountaineer State are good, salt-of-the-earth people. WAY more people came to the door to accept my little hand-out than I expected. (If our positions were reversed, I would’ve hidden under the couch until they went away).
— Planting a church is seriously hard work. Centerpointe Church, the sister church we were working with, has been in business for a little more than a year, and their survival depends on the concerted, long-term efforts of the pastor, his family, and twenty or thirty core members. It’s not just a job; it’s their life.
— People who think that government can expand the social safety net enough to replace Christian ministries and charity are out of their minds. During our five days in West Virginia, we stayed at West Charleston Baptist Church, a mission church on the rough side of Charleston (going in, I didn’t think Charleston was big enough to have a rough side, but there you go). There’s nothing spectacular about it, other than it’s run by a very loving couple who have dedicated their lives to improving this little corner of the world. They provide innumerable services to their community—daycare, counseling, facilities for AA and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, job training, the list goes on—and they do it for no other reason than they feel called by God.
And West Charleston Baptist is just one example of the millions of ministries like it all over the country, run by Godly servants who see a need. There are many people, including many currently in the White House, who think that government can do things like this more benevolently or more efficiently. They have no idea how many holes in our social dike are currently being plugged by Christian ministries. Run those ministries out of business, and try to replace them with bureaucratic time-servers, and see what happens.