World Changers Trip (Part 1)
On June 10-15, 2013, 17 youth from Crossroads Fellowship went on a mission trip with a group called “World Changers” to West Memphis, Arkansas. Luckily, I was able to be a part of such a God-focusing trip. I was able to see God work first hand in a community that needed him dearly.
Since this is my first post, I think it’s important to tell you a little about myself. I will be a junior when school starts again in August. I love to fish, play football, and play the drums to my favorite Christian songs. I have been raised in a Christian home all my life by parents that are grounded in the faith and in the word. I was saved in VBS in 2005, and I was baptized on my dad’s birthday, August 14, of that same year. My testimony, as short as it may seem, has made me who I am today. I love my church and I felt like I had a good relationship with Christ—until this trip when I felt it grow.
Many of you have never been to World Changers or have even heard of it. Don’t worry; I hadn’t either until right before the trip. World Changers gathers believers from different churches and different regions, to go to a rough community to work on run-down houses, and ultimately reach the lost people. This year, youth from Illinois, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, and Kentucky made the trek down to West Memphis, Arkansas. Then, groups are assembled with people from other churches which are then sent out to several different project sites.
Each day was hard work. We painted, installed doors and screens, fixed gutters and roofs, and made each house look a little more inviting. Keep in mind, we were told to wear long pants everyday in the 96-98 degree weather. Don’t get me wrong, it was some pain staking work, but working for the Lord is a privilege, honor, joy, and a responsibility. Throughout the week, we focused on mainly 1 verse. Luke 10:2 says, “He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, to send out workers into his harvest field.’”
People from Trigg County know, farming is tough work and is a way of life. My grandfather farmed and I remember working with him a few times. I know that he hired Mexicans to work for him, because farming is definitely not a one-man job. In the same way, God calls us to be his farmers, to reach the lost people. That was our focus for the week. And by the second day, we had become farmers.
On that second day, we had been working hard all morning, so we took a break. I looked over and two houses down, I saw an elderly man, sitting on his porch, enjoying the beautiful morning. At the time, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to talk to him. I called out to our group and I said, “Hey, I’m going over to talk to this man, if anyone wants to come, feel free!” Our group was so special. Not only did we work hard on the house, we participated in on-site devotions, and joined together in opportunities just like this. We walked over to his house and stopped at his chain link fence. One of us said, “Sir, it’s a beautiful day isn’t it?” He said, “Sure is, why don’t y’all come on in!” We came in and introduced ourselves. He said his name was Charles. We asked him if he went to church and he told us he did. We talked about a variety of things like the crime rate, his family, the plants in his yard, and fishing among all topics. Before leaving, we prayed with him. We went back to our house and worked until lunch. After the food was handed out, we had extra sandwiches, chips, and drinks. We came up with an idea: Why not ask Charles to lunch? A few of us walked over there to ask him if he wanted to eat with us. We walked up the sidewalk and went to the door, and we saw him in his pajamas, talking on the phone, and sitting in his lazy boy recliner watching TV. He came to the door, and we invited him over. He accepted, and it was a great time. Soon he left to go back to the comfort of his home.
The day drew to a close and Charles came over and asked for us to pray with him again. You can’t turn down a prayer, right? All 15 of us walked to his house to pray, but this time he had called his two best friends, James and Victor, over so we could pray with them also. Charles said to us, “You are all good people and I’d like you to pray for my friends.” Victor said he rarely went to church, but he acknowledged that he needed to go more often. It’s amazing to know, that one person multiplied into 3 people that we could share our faith with. I was honored to be a part of something so great and I thank the Lord for using me, as well as our group members, for allowing us to harvest His fields.
In Part 2, you can read about 2 more interesting encounters and closing thoughts about the trip.