Thursday, August 11, 2005

Psalm 2:8
Many people had never heard of the small country of Sri Lanka before the tsunami last year. It is unfortunate that such a disaster had to occur to make the rest of the world aware of their existence. However, Seacoast Church has had a relationship with their people for several years now. Last fall, I was blessed with the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Colombo, Sri Lanka with seven other people from Seacoast Church. For months building up to the trip and as we traveled almost exactly halfway around the world, I tried to imagine what to expect. After traveling for three days, I was hit with a wave of humidity as I stepped off the plane in the Colombo airport and was taken aback by my surroundings. The streets were filled with a chaotic mass of cars, rickshaws, people, bicycles and even cows. The smell in the air was putrid and the smog was so thick that our snot was black after just a few hours of breathing the air. Sounds of motors, the grinding of gears, blaring horns and Sinhalese chatter filled my ears.
Barely having time to get over the initial culture shock, our team began working with Bethany Church, focusing on outreach and youth ministry in the community. The large majority of the people have virtually nothing as far as material possessions go, but their hearts are overflowing with love and joy. Most houses consist of dirt or clay floors, a curtain door (if at all), a tin roof and no running water. The “bathrooms” are typically a hole in the ground out back. The Indian Ocean that lined the city was a beautiful blue-green from a distance, but incredibly contaminated with waste and pollution.
Though they had barely anything and much less to give away, we were treated like kings and offered some kind of refreshment in every home we visited. After seeing groups of children fighting over cheap plastic sunglasses and small pieces of candy, I realized how much we have and take for granted in the United States. Because there is virtually no medical care, people have to rely on their faith in God for healing. The power of prayer takes on new meaning when you have to earnestly pray “Give us today our daily bread.”
Though it sounds like it would be a very sobering experience, after spending two weeks in their Spirit filled culture, I was more humbled and closer to God than I have ever been in my life. I am not sharing this experience to give you a guilt trip, but a gratitude trip. Be thankful for the country you live in and think twice before you complain. We have all been blessed more than we could ever ask or imagine. Glory to God.

*Note: If you would like to find out more about international or local missions opportunities, please visit http://www.seacoast.org/mountpleasant/missions/index.html.

Originally posted July 28, 2005

2 Comments:

At 5:28 AM, Anonymous Josh said...

Thanks for that post Jenna. It reminded me of how excited I am to be going to Nicaragua in a couple of weeks. It's amazing how we go on a mission trip with the hope of impacting people's lives and we come home with so much more than we went with!

 
At 5:29 AM, Anonymous Lori said...

I love your blog! It is so inspiring and always triggers memories for me that need to be nudged! I am thinking of when I went to the Bahamas on a mission trip and it was very similar in the sense that the people had virtually nothing but were so willing to give what they did have! It really does put into perspective how lucky we truly are to be living in a developed country. Have a great day, Jenna!! :)

 

Post a Comment

<< Home