Our daughter participated in a mission project with our church this summer, helping construct a church in another country. She had a great time, and we don't want to throw cold water on her experience, but couldn't those people have built their own church without a bunch of unskilled teenagers from America trying to do it?
I don’t know if they could have done it by themselves or not; quite possibly they didn’t have the skills or resources to do it alone. We sometimes forget that most people in the world have very little; it takes all their energy just to keep their families alive.
But I have no doubt this little group of Christians was greatly encouraged by your church’s efforts — and that alone made their trip worthwhile. Elsewhere in your letter, you mention that this village had no church building before this, and the new structure will enable them to reach out to their neighbors with the message of Christ. Only eternity will reveal the full spiritual impact of this project.
Mission projects like this are valuable for another reason: They can help young people from our country realize the needs of others, and lift their vision for God’s work in other parts of the world. Your daughter will never be the same, and neither will the others on this trip.
Never forget: Jesus Christ died to save people from even the most remote corners of the world — people we may never know during our lifetimes, but who will be with us in heaven forever. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son …” (John 3:16). God’s plan is universal; no tribe, no language group, no nation is beyond the scope of His love.