Missions and mission trips

Mission trips have become a common experience of most churches during recent years. Junior high, senior high, college, working adults, retirees and various professional groups are all involved.

They may be painting a house in Minneapolis, helping flood victims in Grand Forks, rebuilding a house in New Orleans or working at an orphanage in Haiti or elsewhere. Short-term missions groups travel all over the United States and around the world.

The physical work and help is most visible. Other areas of probably equal importance are those of emotional healing and the comfort of knowing that other people care.

Then, of course, the spiritual impact can be the most significant. The love and action of Christians can and often does influence people around the world to give their lives to the Lord and become his children. Whenever some large-scale disaster happens somewhere in the world, Christian missions groups respond.

Home missions or foreign missions, we can all be involved, even if we can't pack our bags and travel to distant locales. Making donations to these causes is one way. Another is praying for people in need and the folks on mission trips.

Personally, I have only been to Singapore and Hong Kong on overseas mission trips. Home mission and evangelism trips have been equally valuable and rewarding, and more frequent. My total trips to New York, Baltimore, Atlanta, Kansas City, Dallas, San Antonio, Phoenix and several other cities have been numerous during the past 40 or so years.

Some of the most memorable ones were the prison visits in greater New York City.

Through prayer, giving or volunteering we can all be involved in short term missions trips. Some who read this give love, a smile, food, Bibles and a daily bread at the emergency food shelf that serves North St. Paul, Maplewood and week after week. It's such a worthwhile undertaking and close to home, too.

For the 2010 Club, Dec. 5 takes us to Daniel 6 and 1 John 4.

Have a good missions week.

Crist Langelett, known to North St. Paul and Maplewood readers as a longtime Review columnist, is a chaplain for the North St. Paul city, police and fire departments, a chaplain at Washington County Jail, a past president of the North St. Paul Area Emergency Food Shelf and one of the founders of North St. Paul's Polar Arena. He is active in his local church and in civic groups.