Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Boys Will Be Men

From July 22-29 I was part of a missions team that travelled to Reynosa, Mexico to work with Isaiah 55 Deaf Ministries. Their website, which describes their priorities and vision, is here. During the week, there were 62 people from various churches who took part in the work along with the staff of Isaiah 55.

Although we offered a Vacation Bible School to children, I spent most of my time with the construction crews, improving and/or building schools (including a school for deaf children that will be operated by Isaiah 55). It was hot, hard work, the kind that dirties and destroys your clothes. Meanwhile, our attitudes were sustained by prayer and evening worship.

Many children came on this trip - more than they've ever had, in fact. Not just teens, but younger children as well. And what most impressed me on this trip was how hard and how well they worked. These kids were shoveling gravel and sand to mix concrete, digging a drainage ditch, cleaning up after the adults -- and they always asked for more work, not less.

After the trip, one of the teens commented about what he learned about himself: "I learned that I can work REALLY HARD," he wrote.

Throughout the week I found myself thinking, I wish that I had this opportunity...this attitude...this experience as a kid. Whether they realized it or not, the work instilled in these kids confidence and righteousness.

Wait a minute. Righteousness?


To work hard, to grow into a man who can protect, provide, and use his hands, is a godly quality. Hear what the Apostle Paul wrote to some Christians who tended to be lazy and selfish:

"Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.
For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. " (2 Thessalonians 3)

This past week, cleanliness was not next to godliness. But sweatiness was!

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