I visited with one of my favorite friends today about her child's ambition to go on a mission trip this summer into a foreign zone. Tears were in her eyes and then mine as she spoke apprehensively about such a young one being so determined to move out on this when mom and dad aren't so sure. Our discussion leads me to write of significant future considerations for the sake of other parents who will deal with similar circumstances. First, one must realize I am expressing an opinion. It is a strong one; and maybe biased.
I believe parents should praise God when their kids want to risk danger to serve God. What more could we want? I'd rather my kids get hurt risking to reach people than waste away playing life safe. It was terribly stressful to let Tim (at age 17) go off to AIM which eventually meant Portugal for 18 months. While he was there he fell from a cliff forty feet and nearly died. We didn't have the money to go see him. It was a rugged time for our family. But not once did we wish we hadn't let him go.
I came home one Sunday afternoon and Wendy (then college age) had gone out along the highway and brought a couple home who had become stranded. She got them in out of the summer heat. They were strangers. She didn't know them. She was at risk. I am proud she'd care more for others than herself. Isn't that what we say Jesus wants during our safe Sunday School lessons?
Most likely Dusty's more powerful training came from going into St. Louis' local prisons to work time and time again with those jailed. It was a harsh experience. He cried because he could not understand how to connect with the prisoners....at first...and second....and third. One day he got it! It takes faithful grit to endure such places.
Here's my advice. Don't tame wild faith. Faith in Jesus, like Jesus, for Jesus, if successful, will lead to the cross...daily. While we talk surrender we seem to walk tidy. Following Jesus is a beautiful thing. Yet, from watching his actual walk we must admit it was often messy.