One of the things about any missions trip is it reveals a couple of things quickly: the condition of the heart and body.
I may spend my life pastoring an inner ring suburb, where there are challenges of new ethnic groups, older groups not wanting change, poverty, transition, etc., that doesn’t mean I am used to ANY situation around me.
In times of going on a mission I find that my life is just too soft. I LOVE my life, but I am always challenged that I too comfortable in many ways.
I also realize that I don’t want my heart hard to the realities of life. A missions trip, even to a city in America, keeps my heart pliable. I don’t want my spiritual ears deafened to the needs of the world, even the world right in my own country.
We are currently in San Francisco on our missions trip. You can literally across the street and move from abject poverty to fabulous wealth.
But poverty is not about what is on the outside. Spiritual poverty exists all through the city.
As a pastor, I am about to experience two very different worlds in a matter of hours.
The first world was a dream for me. I performed a wedding for a couple in the Minnesota Twins ballpark, Target Field. I am a huge baseball fan, so being able to walk on the field, sit in the dugout, etc., was a lot of fun. The reception in one of the fabulous guest services reception areas was amazing. When we exited the facility we were taken through a club level where only original season ticket owners to the new field had passes. There were places I got to go I certainly won’t get to see any other time I go to the game. It was a fun day.
The second world will come less than 48 hours later. I will be in San Francisco with our team of pastors serving in the Tenderloin District. San Francisco itself is, of course, a world class city, but the Tenderloin District is… well… NOT. We will be serving a mission there and help in any way they want to reach out to the cast-offs of our society.
We will be there all week, but I won’t be taking my computer, so blogging will be a minimum effort for the time there. I hope to have some thoughts on the trip when I get back.