The month of July was pretty much taken up by preparations for, and attending our Short Term Missions Trip to Nashville, TN. We traveled to Nashville in the middle of the month, and had an incredible week. My specific job was to transport work groups and travel around to the different work sites. In doing so, I would check on the work groups, take pictures of the work and the crews, and help to foster the relationships with the organizations that we were working with. Back at camp, my responsibilities varied as it related to supporting the Group Missions Trip Organization that was putting on this trip. As you might guess, that did include serving as a worship leader during our camp meeting sessions.
As you read this, please keep in mind that in our case, the teens and adults that took part in this STM trip, spent 2 years raising money, then took a week out of their summer, to go live in some uncomfortable conditions, ultimately to work with various types of organizations that are helping and ministering too the less fortunate, and demonstrate the Love of Christ.
A few weeks after we returned, all the participants in the STM Trip presented an update to our church in the form of a panel discussion. Since we have two morning service times, and there are always so much information to provide, we decided to have different questions presented at the two services. This allowed us to encourage people to wanted a more complete picture of the trip to attend both services if possible. We have found this to be a very effective way to report back to the church when you have a good size group that goes on one of these trips.
On a personal note. As I traveled around the Nashville area, I would ask organizational staff what it meant for them to have these volunteers come in to help. Responses were everything from "We couldn't do this without them" to "That's Love right there". There are so many stories that I could tell, but I believe those two statements sum up what it means to people when you simply give of your time and talents to help others.
I would like to encourage my readers to look at what talents you have, look for an organization in your area that could use those talents, see what you can do to help reach people with the Love of Christ, and the Message of the Gospel.