Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | July 19, 2010

Lord, We Went

John R. Mott believed in the potential of students to change the world. In the summer of 1886, Mott attended a conference and heard a speaker issue a missionary challenge followed by an appeal for personal commitment. Mott was among one-hundred students who signed a pledge at the conference that read, “We hold ourselves willing and desirous to do the Lord’s work wherever He may call us, even if it be in the foreign lands.” That meeting launched what would later become the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions. Mott led this movement for thirty years. In April 1901, Mott spoke on the responsibility of young people for the evangelization of the world. In this speech, he said, “The last command of Christ is operative until it is repealed. It is not optional, as some would assume, but obligatory. It awaits its fulfillment by a generation which shall have the requisite faith and courage, and audacity and the purpose of heart to do their duty to the whole world.” Mott’s words are still relevant today.

Every summer, multiplied thousands of Christian students from around the world serve on short-term mission teams. This month, more than three-hundred and fifty of our students and adult sponsors participated in missions initiatives to Houston’s inner-city neighborhoods, Galveston, Waco, Missouri, Montana, Nicaragua, and India. Our students worked with disadvantaged children, cleared littered and overgrown inner-city lots, painted homes, fed the homeless, served at food pantries, worked with women rescued from prostitution, taught in a slum school, cared for physically and mentally challenged children and adults, ministered to the elderly, and served in five of Mother Teresa’s homes for the destitute and dying. In order to participate in our summer missions initiatives, our students completed a year of mandatory discipleship training and attended meetings that prepared them for their respective assignments.

I am encouraged by students who leave the comforts of their homes to serve around the world every summer. There is value in traveling, seeing new places, meeting new people, and understanding the worldviews that shape the lives of others. St. Augustine said, “The world is a book. He who does not travel reads only a single page.” Those who go beyond read another page, broaden their vocabulary, become better informed, see the world through new eyes, and grow in their understanding of how to share the good news of Jesus Christ across cultural lines. Students who participate regularly in summer missions initiatives become adults who are more likely to see and respond to the needs of the least of these and the lost. And, students who serve in summer missions initiatives generally return home changed by their experiences. God uses those who go beyond to make a difference but also makes them different.

In the late Twentieth Century, archaeologists unearthed a stone tablet in Jerusalem that bears the image of a sailing ship. The words “Domine Ivimus” are inscribed beneath the outline of the ship. These words commemorate the pilgrimage of some unknown Christ-follower to Jerusalem. The translation: “Lord, we went.” I am grateful for the untold thousands of students who have traveled around the globe this summer to live out the message of the gospel. No other belief system in the world sends out their students to do the kinds of tasks that Christian students do. The students who venture out are not perfect and sometimes make mistakes. But, they have taken ownership of their responsibility to love God, love people, and take the good news of Jesus Christ to a world in need. I am proud of our students and the many others who go beyond every summer. Like the ancient pilgrim, they can say, “Lord, we went.”


Responses

  1. I’m glad to hear this again ‘Lord we went’ you have been shared about it ‘Domine Ivimus’ our first boat trip of river of ‘Brommah putra’. its big challenge word, for going those places, people do not know, who Jesus Christ is! thanks for the posted.

    Mortuza Biswas.
    Bangladesh

  2. Yes! They went, and I was so proud of them! They impacted the kingdom of God, and achieved more for God than many people will in thier lifetime.


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