Now I understand that trips like these, while they may do good for the teenagers on the trips or have their place in a believer's life, I don't really think they do that much for the communities we are trying to serve. This is unfortunate, because missions trips like that take such prevalence in the way that many people see "missions."
Enter someone like Jen Hatmaker.
Please, even if you don't read any more of my ramblings, go read her post.
Jen is supporting and promoting real, true service to people in need. She is working with people who live in and know the communities they serve, people who are empowering the impoverished, sick, and disenfranchised. Organizations like Help One Now are truly lifting families and children out of poverty and giving them a means of supporting themselves, and that is invaluable.
"Hundreds of children are now in school instead of working, hundreds of families are kept intact instead of devastated by disruption, and ten years from now, hundreds of young adults will contribute to the local economy and take their rightful place as the next generation of local leaders."
Isn't that so much better than awkwardly helping with a VBS in a language you don't speak?