Glendive Evangelical Church
Loving God, Loving Others
Glendive Evangelical Church, 118 W Borden St, Glendive, MT 59330, 406-377-4202
Thoughts on the Philippines Mission's Trip 2011
are infatuated with mirrors.We have
mirrors in just about every room of the house.From the bathroom to the bedroom to the living room, you can't get away
from looking at yourself.We use mirrors
for a variety of things, but the most important is to identify flaws in our
appearance before heading out in public.We want to appear "perfect."
problem is that what we see on the outside is not always true on the
inside.The focus on the exterior is
nothing new.In the history of Israel,
when the prophet Samuel was interviewing possible replacements for King Saul,
God reminded him, "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks
at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
focus on presenting a good exterior has kept us from focusing on the real
problems in our lives, that which is going on inside.In order to truly deal with the inside,
sometimes God has to rip us out of our comfort zone and place us in situations
that challenge our exterior image.
was true for me this month when I led a team of 13 people on a mission's trip
to the Philippines.The first thing I
realized was that even though I try to put on an image of strength (mentally,
emotionally, spiritually), I am not as strong as I think I am.This was evident as we worked in conditions
that were quite different from what we are used to.We worked in extreme heat and humidity, with
kids who were malnourished, with people who live day to day.After work, we would pack up and go back up
the hill to our base of operations, a pretty luxurious home complete with air
conditioning and a swimming pool.I
often thought, as we made our way back each day, would I be able to do this job
of painting and installing drip irrigation in these conditions if I knew at the
end of the day I would go home to a thatch hut with no air conditioning, not
sure of what I would be eating or even if I would be eating?I honestly couldn't answer the question.
times I was tempted to think, "What's the point of this trip anyway?What am I really learning?"When those temptations came, one theme kept
coming to mind again and again, thanksgiving.In the apostle Paul's letter to the Philippians he writes, "Do not be
anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
if we faced each day with an attitude of thanksgiving instead of
complaining?Would we deal with as much
anxiety, fear, and depression?If we put
our living conditions in context with the rest of the world, shouldn't
thanksgiving flow from our lips?Our
complaints and gripes are pretty minor when I think of those little kids in the
Philippines who were lucky to get one meal a day.
hope is that as I adjust to life back in the United States that I keep a piece
of this trip in my heart and soul, that I will not just continue to focus on
appearances, but allow God to change my heart.