"When (young) people come here they open up to God..."
The groups heading off to Mexico this Easter to be part of ReBuild 2019 are in their final preparations. As the Overseas Adventures team busy themselves supporting these groups, we're reminded of an interview we did with a previous ReBuild trip leader, Paul Little. In 2016, we sat round the campfire with Paul and he shared some of his reflections on the Adventure...
"The more I think about what ReBuild is, and talk to leaders and young people who have come, the thing that really strikes me is that when they go home they take something of what they’ve picked up here back with them. Back to their homes, their schools, their groups and their churches.
And, time and time again we hear stories of “well, I’m here because my sister came and she said it was great and something happened for her and she changed and so I’ve come back too.”
When people come here, they open up to God. Jesus delivered most of his sermons amongst the poor and in places where there was poverty. It was the norm for Him and He showed us that God has a heart and a compassion for the lost, the poor and the broken. I think that the young people who come from Britain on ReBuild take a little bit of that back with them.
We bring kids and leaders over here who have nothing to do with the Church. Many neither attend or have any family history with the Church at all. But it’s amazing to see the way that God works in their lives when they come out to a place like Tijuana (where the house builds take place). There’s just something about the place. When you speak about the words of God and share the Gospel message, it seems to make more sense to them because of the environment we’re in. It’s almost like in the environment that we’ve created at home, the Gospel doesn’t make sense because we’ve got so much wealth and when we talk about the poor, they’re so distant.
I remember one evening when we pointed out to the young people “Do you know what a Christian is?” and then we explained “well actually this week you’re doing the work of a Christian. This is what the Church is here to do. And so why don’t you also follow the King of that Christian Church?” That was a challenge, coming at the Gospel from “this is what we do” rather than "this is what we believe”, and then explaining the belief behind it. Those who don’t believe in Jesus or have a faith, can really understand the message afresh, in a new way.
So I want to encourage anyone who’s considering coming on one of these Adventures to come with humility. Come as a learner, with ‘room in your suitcase’ as it were, to take back something of this place and share it with Britain because we’ve got so much to learn.
I’d like to see people coming and experiencing what it is to serve on a Christian mission trip - even if they’re not sure who Jesus is - because coming here gives you so much. It helps you understand who God is. When you meet the local pastors who serve so well with so little, it’s humbling. I’ve led a Church and I had so many resources to do that but these guys prove to us that we don’t need all those resources to lead people to faith. There is something deeper than that. There’s something in the heart. There’s something of having faith in the message of God... the Gospel message.
Why don’t you come? Why don’t you catch some of the fire and bring it back to your Church?"
Paul Little was involved in leading ReBuild trips for several years. In 2018 he moved with his whole family out to Mexico, after being called to serve permanently with our ReBuild partners, Amor.
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