I am proud to announce that my son is going on a secular mission trip.
There will be no prayer letters going out, though I do help everyone who loves him/me/his family/humanity will pray for him.
There will be no support letters going out; all the money spent will come from our savings and his hard work. I consider it a charitable donation, and part of the vaunted title "tithes and offerings" but there will be no tax deduction. The word church or ministry does not appear on the checks we are writing, so oh well.
If he shares the gospel with anyone while he is there, it will be sincere and Spirit led, as a natural part of the life he will be living as a stranger in a strange land. His faith, as a part of his personality and way of life, will be the only Bible he will take with him everywhere he goes.
The purpose of his trip will be to cater to the needs of "the least of these", the little ones whose angels always appear before the Father in heaven. He is going to honor them with his time, share his skills in English, and treat them with the dignity and sincere interest that Jesus himself has for them.
He will gain no religious credit for going. We have only told family that we were already communicating with regularly. It's a whole new way of caring for the world community than the one with which I have previously been associated. I am very excited for him, and for me.
So for all who pray, he will be living with a host family in a Caribbean nation for the month of July. In the mornings he will work in summer camp, co-teaching with another volunteer wherever they assign him- sports or English. Together he and his teammate will be responsible for ten day campers.
On about half of the afternoons, he will also volunteer in a medical residential facility for special needs kids, in whatever capacity the facility decides is needful. I'm guessing games and stories, but maybe construction. That part of the trip is not defined yet.
On Fridays they will take the summer camp kids on a field trip to cool places they have never been, historical sites and museums and the national zoo.
The unscheduled afternoons he will go to the beach, and have language classes/culture classes in the evenings for all the volunteers. Sundays are spent exclusively with the host family, where I am sure he will get to experience the tribe of Christianity with which his host family is aligned.
So that's the news. He leaves early July, gets back in early August. Pray for him! Pray that he will be useful, and the love of God will clearly show in his character and actions. Pray for his safety, and the safety and learning of all those campers and special needs kids. And pray that this experience will promote good will and understanding between all: host family, camp staff, residential home staff, organization staff, and all those volunteers from English speaking nations.
Thank you internet friends, for all your kindness and good will.