My son is on a mission trip this week just across the border in Mexico. Our church has had a relationship with the same ministry in Mexico for more than a decade, almost two decades I think. Our participation as a church has grown from taking down one team, to build one house to 80+ people which is enough to build two homes and have a Vacation Bible School type experience for the kids in the neighborhood.
The house that is built consists of three rooms and a loft. It is built out of 2x4's, plywood and sheet rock. There is no plumbing and in many cases no electricity although electricity is coming to more and more hillsides.
I think the supplies for the house cost in the neighborhood of $6,000. I have no idea what the land costs. In California an 1100 sq ft house can cost you over $600,000. An imaginary line divides these two existences.
I've gone on the trip to Mexico three times now. You hear the teenagers pondering and being surprised by the difference between their home and the homes their building. Or they might contemplate what its like to be a kid growing up in those hills. They notice things like its dusty and dirty. There are no trees. It is basically a hilly desert which appears to have very little natural resources for supporting life. They wonder how people don't die from boredom.
So often when people get back from these experiences they speak about being grateful that we have so much. But as I've been praying about this trip for my son, I've been wondering if gratefulness for what we have is really the point.
Instead I find myself longing, for my son to ask bigger questions? Why do we have so much? What does it mean for me to have a lot when someone else has so little? What does God expect of me when I am born on the side of the line which has so much?
Then there are the questions for me, what if God breaks my son's heart for the poor? What if God calls my son to go drill holes in Africa so villages can have fresh water? Am I going to cheer him on? Or am I going to try to stand in God's way?
I raise this question because I happen to know several young people who right now are serving God against their parents "better" judgement. These young people get questions like: How will you feed your family? How will you ever own a home? You can't be successful doing that? I've sacrificed so you could have a good education? The list goes on...
May my son have the courage to ask really hard questions? May he have ears by God's grace to receive the answers. May his dear ol' Mom and Dad have the courage to help guide him towards the Father's will and not away.