Many people ask us what the benefits are to coming on a Good News in Action Mission trip. That is an excellent question and one we would love to answer!
First a little background: El Salvador and Latin America in general are all very open and receptive to the gospel at this time in history. The fields are literally white and ready for harvest. There are more people in this region of the world that want to hear the gospel than there are people who are willing to share it. El Salvador is a very good example and very representative of what is happening in this region of the world. In 1979 there was only about 3% evangelical believers in El Salvador. Depending upon the statistic you read, today, evangelical believers are numbered anywhere between 30-40%. There seems to be a sort of revival happening in this part of the world! This is not a random chance event, but a call to GO and share the gospel where people are receptive.
Every day, during a mission trip the team members will be directly involved in one on one sharing of the gospel with people who don’t know Christ. It is very interesting to see how the presence of a North American draws the people out, maybe out of curiosity, but at any rate, they can draw a crowd very quickly. This is the first benefit, the lost hear the gospel! Secondly, many people will pray to receive Christ, thus God’s Kingdom is expanded! God has given us a life’s purpose of bearing fruit for Him, winning souls to Christ is one of the two ways to fulfill our purpose, and glorify God in our lives. (The other way to bear fruit is through growing in the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, and believe me, that happens too when you share the gospel in a foreign country through a translator.)
The benefits continue as that the team member obtains the new believer’s contact information. This is so valuable because we follow up those decisions with the intention of getting them plugged into church and into discipleship. So, God’s Kingdom is expanded, AND our churches all experience steady growth. In fact over the past 20 years our churches have all grown at a rate of about 20% per year. Think of how many individual lives, couples, entire families, workplaces, classrooms, and neighborhoods have been transformed by the power of the gospel? And all because teams come from the states and share the gospel…..
These benefits should excite any potential team member, but did you know, there is still another wonderful benefit? It is amazing to see how sharing the gospel and winning folks to Christ in turn motivates both the North American and their translator to share the gospel more, and more, and more, even off the mission trip trail. This experience has a way of inspiring, producing a burden for souls, and a boldness to share like nothing else, even when they return to the US! God gets a lot of mileage out of these trips for His Glory.
Space does not permit me to expand on so many of the other benefits, but I will try to name them off quickly: new cross cultural friendships are made that can last a lifetime, team members bond and unite like never before taking that phenomena back to their home and church, Hispanics learn more English, North Americans learn a little Spanish and a little Latin culture, gaps are bridged, hearts grow, these trips impact more people in more ways than we will ever know. And last but not least imagine the joy, the sheer joy, you will experience when one day, when you get to heaven, you meet face to face that previously lost person you had a hand in leading to Christ stand before you and thank you for having the courage and love to share the gospel with them. I think I can already hear the angels rejoicing in heaven!