Our youth group at church is planning a mission trip just after Christmas. We're going to repair houses in a poor area in one of our big cities. I can't decide whether or not to sign up because we'll only be there a week and we can't do much. Do you think it would be a good idea? — T.H.
Yes, I do, and I commend your church and its leaders for giving you this opportunity. Take time to ask God to show you whether or not it is His will for you to go—and don't be hesitant if He seems to open the door. The Bible says, "As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people" (Galatians 6:10).
No, you may not be able to meet every need or solve every problem in the city you will be visiting—but you can do something. Remember: In God's hands even a little can become something significant. Perhaps you will only make one house more habitable—but if you were the single mother or elderly disabled person trying to live in that house, you'd be very grateful that someone was willing to come hundreds of miles to help you.
But I also encourage you to consider going on this trip because of what it will do for you. Perhaps for the first time you will realize the physical and spiritual challenges countless people face every day, and God will use this to make you more compassionate and more sensitive. God may even use it to change the direction of your life and call you into His service.
Remember too that as you are helping people physically, you also can help them spiritually by pointing them to Jesus Christ. Our world is filled with hopelessness and confusion, and the greatest gift we can ever give is to tell others about Christ.