Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Searching Abroad

Every summer our youth group would either go to a youth conference or on a mission trip. Throughout junior high and high school, I went to two 'Challenge' conferences, put on by the Evangelical Free Church for the whole nation, and three trips to Tijuana, Mexico. The 'Challenge' trips were the closest experience that I have had to conversion as a personal choice or rededication. The speakers had very compelling messages that, with their wit and urgency, engaged the students and caused them to seriously consider the call to follow Jesus. With a whole week to focus, it was quite easy for me to be encouraged to take my relationship with God seriously, however, the excitement of these trips often wore off rather quickly. The lasting impact that these trips really had for me is that they expanded my understanding and liberated my expression of worship. With thousands of Christians crying out in genuine adoration, I learned quickly the meaning and significance of authentic worship.
The trips to Mexico also helped accelerate the rate of my spiritual growth but also display my postmodern attitude. During these trips, our group went to different churches in the poor suburbs of Tijuana and put on bible schools for children, classes for women, and provided a game of “football” for anyone who would play with the inept Americans. Along the way, members of our group would give testimonies and we tried to communicate that we were trying to spread the news of Jesus. These trips encouraged me to be bolder in sharing my faith. Seeing God’s word spread is a powerful matter and caused me to begin to take my relationship with God more seriously. This further exemplifies my socialization in Christianity because each trip gradually built on what was learned in the previous year. These Mexico trips also reflect the postmodern ideals that I encompass. The organization that we went with explained that the people we were serving were mostly in their psychological state because of social conditioning. This mostly helps us feel sorry for them, but I am afraid that it may hinder us from loving them in the way that we love our friends and family. Furthermore, my thought as the world being relationally defined was confirmed through the awesome testimonies of the community within the small churches.

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