Family Mission Trip Picture

Sea of Galilee vs. Dead Sea

I write to you as we conclude our YouthWorks Family Mission Trip in Columbus, Ohio.  On this trip we have made, decorated, and delivered beds with a great ministry called the Bed Brigade.  Five years ago a man by the name of Jeff saw that people in the Columbus area had a need for beds, and although he didn’t really know what to do at first, he did some research and got some people from his church together to do something about it.  Now, to his surprise, God has grown this ministry and to date they have given out over 2,000 beds, and they continue to have a long list of families waiting.

In the 2 days we were with them, we made 29 beds and delivered 11.  I really enjoyed delivering the beds because that gave us an opportunity to talk with the families, give them children and adult bibles, and it gave us the chance to offer to pray with the families.  Circling up in living rooms and praying with the families and praying a blessing over the beds was a very powerful experience.

So, overall our experience on this mission trip has been great and has been an excellent introduction to mission trips for our kids.  We are already talking about what we can do in the future.

This trip and it’s focus on  showing God’s love has also been a good reminder to me of something I learned on another trip.  Three years ago Carly and I traveled to Israel, and one place we went was one of Jesus’ favorite spots, the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel.  It was a beautiful area with lush green mountains and cool refreshing water filled with life.   At the end of the trip we went to southern Israel and we got to float on the Dead Sea.  This lake is located in a very rugged, desolate region, and its water is so salty that no life, not even bacteria, can live.  Why the difference between the two?  The Jordan River feeds into both bodies of water, but the water of the Sea of Galilee flows out down into the Dead Sea.  The Dead Sea, however, only receives the water.   No water flows out of it, making it a salty, lifeless body of water.

In reflecting on this, I think what is true of these two bodies of water is true of us as individuals and as the church.  We are to make space in our lives to receive God’s presence, and to let His love, peace, and power flow into us.  If, however, we become inward focused and keep all that we receive for ourselves, we will become like the Dead Sea, void of real life.  But if we share our experience of God’s radical love and infinite goodness with others, and we let God’s grace and love flow from us into the lives of others, we become like the Sea of Galilee, vibrant and full of life.

I, undoubtedly, saw this vibrant  life and joy at work in Jeff and the people of the Bed Brigade, and so as I think  on both of these trips I’m left with this question: do we want to be a Dead Sea people or a Sea of Galilee people?  The choice is ours to make.

Serving Christ with you,


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