I got home Saturday night after spending nine weeks at the Jamaica Deaf Village. God taught me A LOT. But one thing really stuck out to me.. On short term trips, the missionaries at JDV really stress relationships. They emphasize that no matter how much curb block you lay or how many walls you paint, relationships are still way more important.
Every team that came to JDV while I was there had its own unique personality and way of doing things. They were all a part of different churches and different denominations. I realized that there are many different ways to serve God and follow Him, and even many different ways to interpret the bible. So although some of the people I met did things much differently than I am used to, there are a few non-negotiables: God created everything, He sent Jesus to die for our sins, and Jesus rose again. God also called ALL of us to go, to serve. And He commands that we love others. God is so relational. I knew God loved me, and I knew that He valued His relationship with me, but I never realized how much God values our relationships with others. I can’t help but think that my Christ-glorifying friendships put a smile on His face.
On Sunday, I was still kind of processing everything that has happened over the past two months. I was sitting at Starbucks and I overheard the conversation at the table next to me. Two Christian men were arguing over the Bible. Picking it apart and debating over the littlest legalistic things. I just don’t think that’s what God wants of us. The Bible is a love letter, right? So if someone you loved sent you a love letter, would you disect it word by word? No, you’d accept it in its sincerest form and take it to heart. That’s what I think the Bible is. God works in our hearts and helps us to interpret it in the individual ways that He intended for each of us.
So with all the concrete work I did, all the teams I met, and all the conversations I had, God just really sweetly showed me how much HE cherishes ME. And how tickled He is by my relationships. Seems like a win-win to me; I gained some really awesome friendships, all while glorifying my Daddy.