The Power of Mission Trips

I´m in that beautiful Internet cafe in Campur, Guatemala again. My connection speed is really slow, and I´m updating our Operation Central America blog, and I´m thinking. . . about the Power of Mission Trips.

I´ve been taking students all over the world for the past 15 years. It´s a humbling thing to think that God has given me the chance to open the eyes of hundreds of students to the incredibly diverse world that he has created.

One of those students is Tessie Nelson. Tessie traveled with us to Guatemala and El Salvador after her junior year of high school. She loved it. God was able to use her love of the Spanish language to impact the lives of many Central Americans. Because of this experience, she decided to travel with us again after her senior year of high school. Then Tessie went to college.

Tessie is entering her senior year at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. She is majoring in Spanish and planning on teaching Spanish to high school students when she graduates. She has spent the past 4 months at a language school in Guatemala. She´s with us this year as one of our team translators. Tessie will be doing her student teaching at a school for missionary kids, teaching them Spanish.

I love seeing students´ lives transformed through trips like this.

Last week, a former student of mine moved from Illinois to Minnesota. He´s met the girl of his dreams and plans on marrying her. She is from the Twin Cities. The two of them will be going to Peru as career missionaries early next year. Guess what got Dave interested in missions? It was a short term trip while in high school.

Please join me in praying for the students on this year´s Operation Central America team. Maybe they´ll be the next ones that God calls.

On A Mission Trip With My Son

I am typing this from the rain forest of Campur, Guatemala. I´m in a tiny little internet cafe. And, I´m thrilled. We are experiencing our first full day of ministry on the 2007 Operation Central America Mission trip. 39 of us have made the journey from the Twin Cities to Guatemala. Among those with me is my son, Chris.

Chris has been dreaming about being a part of this mission trip for the past four years. Today I have watched as my son has learned even more about what it means to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. Chris has been busy. He´s been working with our service team, building an orphanage. How incredible! 12 years old, and Chris is mixing concrete, laying brick and wielding a sledgehammer. I´m proud of him. And, I´m grateful to Wooddale Church for allowing Chris to come with me.

You can read all about the adventures of this year´s Operation Central America team by following the link on the side of this page to the OCA Blog. It is so cool to read what the students are saying!

Operation Central America Prayer Requests

We are leaving for Guatemala on Sunday and have had a couple complications come up within our team. Please be in prayer that Trent Stensrud, one of our students, receives his passport by Saturday. He applied for it back in February and is the only member of our team yet to receive his passport.

Pray also for the Shortreed twins, Chris and Tim, who have had an allergic reaction to their malaria medication.

Great Article on Efrem Smith in Today’s Star Tribune

I’ve never met Efrem Smith. I have tons of friends who are friends of Efrem, but our paths have never crossed. I’ve respected Efrem from afar for several years. He has a passion for ministry in the inner city of Minneapolis that is contagious. Efrem’s heartbeat for a multi-racial congregation, his community impact projects, and the impact that he has made in Minneapolis make him an inspirational leader on the national scene. Check out this article on the Star Tribune’s Web Site. I think it will challenge you.