I recently took some students from our youth ministry on the Oregon NextGen Ministries A. I. M. Trip to the Dominican Republic. This mission trip was an amazing opportunity for our students to experience the kingdom of God in a foreign country. But getting to the D. R. proved to be difficult for some of our students. One particular student needed repeated encouragement and “pushing” to finish his preparations.

During our time in the D. R. this particular student experienced compassion on a level he had never experienced before. He served in a capacity that he had never served before. He gave himself fully to the mission at hand. On Sunday morning of the trip, we were part of a regular church service. During the time of praise and worship, God spoke to this young man supernaturally. For the first time in his life, he felt true love. He felt the presence of God humble him and lift him up at the same time. It has continued to be one of the few times in my life where I have seen a student physically, emotionally, mentally, and from the heart, COMPLETELY CHANGE. Here we are, a few weeks since the DR, and this young man is chasing after God in every aspect of his life. Everyone in his small community has seen firsthand the complete turnaround he has made. It’s been incredible!

I would love to tell you about the hundreds of ways that God showed up on our trip. I’d love to tell you about the impact we made on 4 different churches while we were down there, or the hundreds of kids our teams reached, the responses to salvation calls, the painting projects that changed neighborhoods… it was all there. I’d love to tell you all the humorous parts, the ugly parts, and everything in between. The trip was full of stories! It was amazing!

But I’m not going to list all of that out for you. Instead, I’m going to ask you a question that you have answered hundreds of times. “How much will it cost?”

How much will it cost YOU, to get that kid to camp, to the next conference, inside your doors for the next weekly service, etc. How much is it going to cost you? Because, they need you. They need your time, your energy, your sweat-equity. You may be their only hope of encountering God this year. After you give your all and you see God turn a student’s life around, you’ll know it was worth it.

Romans 12: 10-13, “Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.”NLT