Mission Trip Reflections
by Rick Patrick
After investing our Spring Break on a mission trip to Aguascalientes, Mexico–a desert city of nearly one million people–our mission team of ten church members will never be the same. It is challenging to reduce to words the waves of emotion and brokenness one feels when immersed in a culture that celebrates death, deifies Mary and places faith in the practice of witchcraft. After briefly describing four days of activities, I will share a few general observations regarding this field and offer some personal reflections.
Growing up in the 1950s and 60s, family reunions became part of my cultural education. My kinfolk were mostly one or two generations removed from being church-going people. Therefore, after the Sunday dinner, the men of our clan enjoyed an assortment of thirst-quenchers. Wash tubs filled with ice and colorful cans of Falstaff, Pabst, Schlitz (opened with church keys) seemed to pacify them as some played Gibson guitars and bowl-back mandolins under a parasol of Pin oaks; while others listened, sang, or danced an occasional Scot-Irish jig.
One Sunday after sundown, my great uncle Joe (being led by the spirits) gave his nephews a Bible lesson that we never soon forgot. He told how the serpent in the garden of Eden seduced the woman named Eve and had sexual relations with her (I forget his exact idioms). The world was never right after that. He declared that within mankind there are those born with the good seed and those with the serpent seed; with the latter destined for the everlasting lake of fire. I got scared but faked gallantry.
By Walker Moore
I want to apologize for calling you a gummy bear. When I first saw the sonogram, I didn’t know what else to call you. All I could see was a tiny, black-and- white, blurry figure all crunched up. I had to squint my eyes and rotate the picture to make out your head and something that looked like a leg.
I was so excited that we were going to have a gummy bear. Today, I was even more excited when I found out I’m going to have a grandson. I know we have a few more months until August when we get to meet face to face, but I couldn’t wait to write you.
Walker Moore founded AweStar Ministries, a missions organization that has put thousands of teens on fields ‘white unto harvest’ around the world.
I hate change. I am not talking about changes, but change: nickels, dimes, pennies and the like.
At the grocery store, I’m the king of speed. But I always seem to get behind the queen of change. When the cashier tells a woman like this a total, say $10.71, she tries to see how much change she can get rid of. While the entire line waits patiently, she pulls out her change purse and begins the process of counting coins. Her goal in life must be to get rid of as much change as possible at one stop.
Some of you may think I’m kidding. I’m not. This dear woman will count out all her pennies to see if she has 71 cents. Of course to me, change is time, so in the time it takes her to count out her pennies, I read the entire issue of Reader’s Digest and part of the National Enquirer. This is the magazine with the tagline “Enquiring Minds Want to Know.” What enquiring minds really want to know is how to count change faster.
By Franklin L. Kirksey
2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1
Be holy is the title assigned in the Believer’s Study Bible to our text found in 2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1.
Duncan Campbell [1898-1972] said, “A baptism of holiness, a demonstration of godly living is the crying need of our day… Revival is always marked by an overwhelming sense of Christ’s presence in the church… a heightened awareness of holiness with confession, repentance, and restitution.”
Dr. W. Graham Scroggie (1877-1958) explains, “We must distinguish between cleansing and holiness. You cannot be holy with being cleansed, but you can be cleansed without being holy. The Book of Leviticus is divided into two parts: the first part is about cleansing and the second part is about holiness. Cleansing is by an act: holiness never is. There can be no holiness until there is cleansing. Cleansing is never progressive: holiness always is, and they are intimately related.”