I just returned about 45 minutes ago after a day's worth of shotgunning and driving from San Diego this morning to good-byes with 75 precious new high school friends to a flat tire (of course...) soon thereafter. This high school youth group in walnut creek, CA takes a mission trip down to a place called Rancho de sus Ninos every Thanksgiving break, and I was honored to speak on the trip again this year (as I spoke on it in '04 as well). It was a beautiful week with these friends. My mind is swimming with the immediate of GO TO BED, but I'm also in that quasi-delirious, reflective stage. By far one of my favorite parts was that one of our local YL leaders, and a favorite of mine [okay, I have a lot of favorites - I'll be honest], Juvy, was able to go with me. though i think it was a little harder defining her role, I was blessed to have that #1 companion and friend beside me, as the job of speaker can be rather lonely at times otherwise. But then, truth be told, it's pretty stinkin' awesome to be able to just let go of life back home for a week and just BE ... especially when that "being" involves getting to know teenagers, playing with little mexican orphan and daycare kids, building schtuff, and seeing god in action.
But my thoughts swim as to short-term missions...
does enablement take place within the local culture every time we "rich" americans cross the border, bringing gifts and good tidings of great joy?
where is the long-term investment of relationship in these short-term missions when thousands of people pass through the lives of (these orphans in particular) every year?
what does it mean then to truly serve?
I am back to claiming the aforementioned state of delirium - hope ya'll had a happy Thanksgiving - we instead ate steak tacos!