We did not solve any of the orphans’ problems. We did not leave any great lasting buildings or monuments. What we did do was laugh and play with the children at the orphanage. We let them know that, as Christians, we care for them, because God cares for them. Yes, we were the first team from America that anyone could remember coming to the orphanage. But, our nationalities were not important to the children. What was important was that we were there and loving them.
For the staff at the orphanage, we were an encouragement, a help in that they could take a rest while we carried some of the load.
What the lasting effects will be is too early to tell. We will not easily forget: sitting beside the Mediterranean eating supper as the sun went down, worshiping with our Lebanese brothers and sisters in church services where the words were not understood, but the commonality of our faith spoke loud and clear, seeing team members tear up as they were presented plaques of thanks by the orphanage, and observing how quiet the ride down to the airport was as team members departed the orphanage.
Seeds were planted. How they grow is up to the Lord. Will He call some from the team to missionary work? Will our presence in the life of a child for the short time we were there produce results years from now? Will the two mission trips Calvary Baptist Church sent out this year continue to unify our church and focus its vision outward?
It’s too early to tell, but I want to thank the church for allowing us this precious opportunity to be your ambassadors, and for giving us the honor to represent Christ on your behalf to people you have never met.
I pray that we in turn can represent the Christ we met there back to you our church here.