Relationships. That is what we’ve been building since we arrived. It amazes me how quickly we have been embraced by the people of Eastside Christian church. But should it amaze us? We are, after all, already brothers and sisters to the believers here as coheirs with Christ.
Shingy Chizanga, co-director of Africa Development Mission here in Zimbabwe, told me yesterday that there was a great benefit of American teams coming. I have always been more inclined to think that it was we, as Americans, who got the real benefit from these trips as we were pushed outside of our comfort zones to experience a cross cultural experience with people who have much less than we do. In the process God works on our hearts in a powerful way. I have seen many examples of this from the people who have gone in past years. Because of my view I asked her what benefit we brought? She gave me two powerful examples.
The first reason is that when we go to visit people from the church in the neighborhoods, we encourage them. But more than that, as soon as we leave, many of the neighbors will come to the home of the person we just visited to ask who we were and why we had come. As Shingy explained, this gives them a great opportunity to talk about Jesus!
The second reason is that when we spend $3500 dollars, the cost of this trip, to come visit them for such a short time, they see a direct correlation between how important Jesus is to us. In other words, we spend a great amount of money for a short amount of time for the sake of Jesus. For this reason, they are much more interested in who Jesus is. Why would Americans spend so much money to come here if they didn’t think he was very important?
I was left feeling encouraged by this. While I have a deep desire to know God and to become and more like Jesus, I also love to encourage, equip and build up other believers, my brothers and sisters in Christ, in his kingdom!
If you haven’t been on a Short Term Trip, I would highly recommend it so that you can both pour into believers around the world and be poured into through the grace and power of Jesus Christ, our King.
– Jordan Smith