While Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, supports long-term missionaries around the world, some in our own congregation are serving this spring and summer on short-term missions trips.
We went to a village in southern Thailand called Bon Num Kim for two weeks with a group of 100 medical students, nurses, doctors, and volunteers with the goal of bringing the word of God to a people who were struck by the tsunami roughly ten years ago.
I really wanted to go on this trip because I simply wanted to share the word of God with people who have never heard of His name. I wanted to obey God’s command to go make disciples in all nations. I pray I can continue to do this in the future and invite others to do the same.
You go over there thinking that you’re going to be helping all these people with their medical needs. You are hyped up, I mean really hyped up. You really want to help these people with all of their physical ailments, and some of the time we could help them; however, other times they required interventions we couldn’t give them. Even with all of the advancements with human medicine, we still couldn’t help a lot of people. I came back with a new view: Despite our faith in medicine, the truth is that we lack expertise in so many areas of medicine. However, what we ARE given fully and freely is the ability to be cured of a spiritual illness that separates us from God. Most of these people were ill both physically and spiritually and that truly weighed on my heart the most.
The story that I have been sharing with people about my trip is this: There was a lady who came in who was 45 years old, and to be honest, I can’t really remember what she came to clinic for. We finished interviewing her and performing the physical exam, and we prayed for her in the name of Jesus. Much to my surprise, she had never heard of Jesus’ name before. I was taken aback by the situation. I couldn’t even imagine a life where I hadn’t heard of the name of Jesus–for 45 years of my life; but the truth is that there are many people who have never heard of his name. For five minutes we shared Jesus’ story with her. She was thirsty for Jesus, asking for a Bible and asking for more stories in the Bible, wanting to know more about Jesus. And her desire to know Jesus just blew me away. That is when I thought to myself about how if she were the only patient we saw for the entire two weeks, it would have been worth the expenses, the time, and the energy to see the thirst in her soul for Jesus. This is so encouraging to me because it is such a great example of what thirsting for the Living Water looks like.
Read here about others in the Redeemer family who are planning short-term missions trips.