We all know Jesus’ words about giving and receiving, right? “Give and you will receive.” He elaborated on the receiving part, “in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap.” As if this wasn’t incentive enough, Jesus goes on to hammer His point by adding, “The amount you give will determine the amount you get back!” (NLT)
A mission trip experience repeatedly lives out this truth, “I came to give, but I received so much more!”
The recent experiences of two men’s groups met a significant need for our International ministry. Every year our summer mission teams tackle some big projects and accomplish amazing projects in a short week-long mission trip. But after the last, “Adios. Dios te bendiga,” as they board the flight home, Russell faces a daunting list—finishing, painting, installing, delivering, disposing.
We prayed, and before we could advertise, God answered with not one but two groups of men with the desire to do construction, who each came for a week Cypress FBC and WUBC-Crosspoint. They came to give but experienced “overflowing into your lap” blessings.
Some of the construction tasks included building 15 shelving units for the Higuey orphanage, attaching them to the walls. The home of a Samuel’s Fund child needed interior walls, and siding. At another home two corners of the roof needed to be installed, the siding completed and walls varnished. At Hatillo, they finished roofing the new gazebo and other tasks.
But the overflowing blessings were the personal ones experienced by the men on both teams. As Russell reported, “It is quite hard to verbalize what happens in the life of people when on a mission trip.”
Russell shared about what he referred to as not a coincidence, but a God-incidence. God brought one man from Florida to join the Houston team. He shared about his troubled son with another man. Only to discover that this man had walked a similar destructive path in his youth and could now witness about how God had forgiven and transformed the ashes into the beauty of a life with purpose.
One pastor shared, “My desire and vision for the trip was to take a small group of men to work side-by-side in a mission setting, with the prayer that Jesus would change their perspectives. In turn, their life priorities and practices would be changed as well. Through our experience with STCH Ministries, that is exactly what the Lord did. They came back loving Jesus at a deeper level. Our lives will never be the same! Since returning home, some of the guys have sponsored kids through the Samuels Fund, have made adjustments in their personal lives and priorities, and have sought Jesus more deeply.
Excellence, new vision, life transformation—these goals far surpass any medical clinic, children’s ministry or construction project we may accomplish. Every team sacrifices money, time, resources. We trust God to pour into each person rich blessings, “overflowing into their laps” as a result. We give the glory to God when he uses a STCH Ministries International mission trip to realize these eternal goals.