As I’ve watched the tragedy of Baltimore unfold, one thought has both encouraged and haunted me: last summer, NEHBC went on a mission trip to Baltimore. We didn’t go alone; we joined with hundreds of other Southern Baptist Churches in Crossover-Baltimore, 2014 – an organized, city wide evangelistic effort. Pastor James, NEHBCers, and thousands of Christians spent six days downtown and in the suburbs, lovingly offering the gospel to any and all who would listen.
Think about that. Under the providence of God, ten months before what could well go down as the most violent, trust shattering period in modern Baltimore history, Jesus Christ sent thousands of His disciples to share the Good News; the only answer to the crisis now unfolding. He is the loving God of Baltimore. Oh, how He loves them. He sent His witnesses to offer the gospel to those downtown, in the underprivileged areas, and in the suburban neighborhoods.
I’m encouraged because I am reminded of the sovereignty of God. Even before this brokenness erupted, God sent news of peace and good will to all the people. He loves them. He desires to heal them, redeem them, adopt them. If they will turn to Him with all their hearts, He will give them new life.
I’m haunted because this scenario is true of every single NEHBC mission trip. We don’t always get to see such a clear correlation of why the Lord sends us out as His witnesses to a particular location, but if we have truly sought God’s will about where to send our trips each year, Christ has a profound purpose for sending NEHBC there. We should never take the annual trips lightly. If the Lord has called us to these places, He needs us to take the Good News there. The residents also need us to bring them the Good News. We must not ignore the call of Christ to go and the cry of the lost to come ringing in our ears. We must take seriously the matter of prayerful consideration as to whether the Lord is calling us on a trip in any given year. And, we must remember Baltimore; you may not see clearly why we went on a particular trip, but there is a Kingdom reason as clear as there is between Christ sending thousands of witnesses to Baltimore ten months before the city was lit on fire.
Here are the rest of our 2015 mission trips. It isn’t too late to sign up.