Here's the thing. We've been partnering with Sport for Life in Sweden for 16 years now. Over the years those of us who have been somewhat "regulars" in this partnership have heard one thing on a pretty consistent basis. "Why Sweden? They don't live in poverty, they have water, why do we do a mission trip to Sweden and to play golf of all things!?" Somewhere along the way, we as Christians have fallen into a frame of mind that a mission trip has to involve some sort of humanitarian piece or it's not a "real trip." That's actually pretty easy to understand and to be honest, was probably where I was before I was invited to make my first trip to Sweden 16 years ago by Eugene DePorter. What I've learned over the years though is this. There are a unique set of challenges in reaching out to someone who has all their material needs met and enjoys a good standard of living. Only 2% of the population of Sweden professes Christ as their savior. What is the value of a soul? Does someone's standard of living make a difference when it comes to their eternity? We all know the answer to that question. Many of us enjoy the friendship and benefits of things like small groups and study groups. We understand it's not only the things we are studying but the positive effect having Christian fellowship has on us. We understand how important those things are to our lives. Because of the makeup of the population I mentioned earlier, to many Christian kids who come to this camp, this will be the only week of the year that they get to enjoy that feeling . That results in them really being able to go deeper in their faith. That is mission critical to us as we have realized that we are there for a week but these specific kids are there all year. They can much more impact on growing God's kingdom in their year than we can in our week.
So my point is this. If someone going on this trip contacts you and asks you to partner with them in either prayer support or financial support, please understand the unique challenges that person is taking on and genuinely consider joining them in whatever way you can. It's true this is not a "hard" trip compared to others that I am happy our church takes on. But it is an important population of people and I'm so happy that our church has the insight to understand that and be involved with them.
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