Trinidad & Tobago

July 11-20, 2015

Mission Trip #52
This mission trip marked several milestones for me and the ministry.

It was the fifty-second mission trip I have led people on thorough Sports & Rec Plus.  We have been in a lot of places and in many different circumstances.  However, through it all I have seen God at work and have seen many lives changed as a result of His miracle working power.

Before this trip began you could tell it was going to be different.

Early on my ten-year-old Grandson, Kyle, said he felt that God wanted him to go.  He told his parents and they supported him in his decision as did his eight-year-old brother, Ryan.  Kyle got his Passport and never wavered in his determination to go.

However, with the other trip participant, Jake, things were not this easy.  As late as five weeks before the trip was to begin Jake did not know that God wanted him to go.  Then within the space of two days God touched him and led him to see that this mission trip to Trinidad & Tobago was His will for him.

Once Jake felt God leading him to go, he told his Pastor and me.  Only problem was that Jake had never been on an airplane, did not have a Passport, and no money to his name.  But, this was just the kind of situation where God does wonders.  Within thirty-six hours he had the money for his Passport.  He sent the application off to the U.S. Passport office and then began praying for the money for the trip and his passport to come.  Day by day the money came in and every other day Jake called the Passport office to see about his Passport.  Then on the final day before the mission trip was to begin, the last of the money came in and the Passport came by Express Overnight Mail.  I then quickly bought his ticket and the next morning we three were on a plane headed for Trinidad.

Upon arriving in Trinidad on Saturday night, we were met by Pastor Roddie from Mt. Beulah Evangelical Baptist Church in Point Fortin, Trinidad.  His was the home church for our work there.  The main task they had for us that week was to work in the township of St. Mary’s to help plant a church where there was no church.

For the first three days in Trinidad we got up early and passed out tracts door-to-door in the area around Roddie’s church in Point Fortin.  In the afternoon, we headed to St. Marys, to give out more tracts and hold a tent Crusade in the evening where we prayed the new church would be planted.

The Crusade was well attended by the church folks from Point Fortin as well as several that came from the St.Marys area as a result of the tract distribution.

For our last three days in Trinidad, we moved exclusively to Roddie’s church in Point Fortin and there we passed out tracts in the morning, did sports evangelism in the afternoon and held a crusade in the evening.

Saturday was a day of seeing the local attractions and then on Sunday it was pack up, head to the airport and then back to the United States.

There were four really big observations that stuck with me from the mission trip.

First, rookies went.  For both Kyle and Jake this was their first mission trip.  Both were first time international fliers and for Jake, this was his first time to fly on a plane.

For Kyle, ever since he sensed God leading him to go on the mission trip, he never waivered.  You would think there would be apprehension on his part since this was his first such trip.  But not so, he showed faith, not fear.

With Jake, everything was in doubt until the last day.  With all the uncertainty you might think he would back out, not so.  He hung in there and not only kept calling the Passport Office, but also packed every day of the last week.  He had confidence that God would work it out.

The excitement and enthusiasm of these “first-timers” was contagious.  Pastor Roddie commented on this as well did his wife, Stella.

The second thing of note was how the church was planted.  It was through a Tent Crusade.  In a day when you do not think of holding an outdoor tent crusade the folks in Trinidad didn’t mind and God worked it out in a great way.

No great movement of God has ever begun without prayer and the widespread distribution of Scripture.  It was no different this time.  We took 1,050 tracts and gave them all out.  We gave them out door-to-door as we visited 375 homes, then in restaurants, on the streets, to passing motorists, and anywhere else we could. Your prayers, the prayers of the Christians we were with, and our prayers as we gave out the tracts, saw a harvest.

The harvest included many rededications, one accepted Christ for Salvation, another man dedicated himself and his family to be a Christian family, three came the last night of the Crusade in Point Fortin to dedicate themselves to be soul-winners, several came for prayer for various situations in their lives, and some came to attend the crusade as a result of the tract distribution.

For a long time Pastor Roddie had been praying for a church to be started in the St. Mary’s area.  It happened during the week.  Roddie has been training a pastor to take over the work as soon as the church began.  His name is Pastor Junior James.  I was impressed with him and he is eager to begin his ministry at the new church.  The first Sunday Bible Study and Worship Service began July 26.

Thirdly, the importance of perseverance.  In church planting, as in anything else, starting the race is not as important as finishing.  It is long and hard work to give out tracts, set up chairs for church services, talk to people and to just keep going.  One day, one of the boys commented to me that a mission trip is hard work and sometimes you get super tired.  He then told me that the other afternoon, when I said it was time for us to go to St. Mary’s, to pass out tracts and get ready for the service that night, he didn’t want to go.  He was tired, but he made himself get up and go.  He knew it was the right thing to do.  That is an important trait of a disciple of Jesus.  You do what needs to be done even when you are tired and don’t feel like it.  You persevere.

Finally, through it all one could see how God uses just regular people, who are available to Him, to accomplish His work.  No one involved in the mission trip whether from Pastor Roddie’s church or one of us from the United States was rich, famous, or had a magnetic personality.  Yet God used each one of us.  What a privilege.

The planning for this mission trip began during the week of the mission tip to Trinidad & Tobago last year.

Pastor Roddie and I have already begun planning for 2016.  The dates are July 9-17, 2016.  We would like to have several people and families with kids to go.  The kids will play low competition soccer and basketball games and share Christ.   The parents and others will be involved in many evangelistic activities.  Price will be around $1,575.00 per person and will include all meals, lodging, ground transportation, airfare, insurance, training and administrative costs.

It was fun watching God work during the mission trip week.  He did a great job…but doesn’t He always?