I returned Saturday from a mission trip to Grifton, NC. I went with the Baptist Student Union on their Spring Break Mission Trip. It was a really great week for a very unexpected reason. In talking about the trip, we had been expecting to be working in the community. This is an area where there is a great amount of poverty, and large numbers of families are living in substandard housing. The Grifton Missions Ministry, which started as disaster relief following Hurricane Floyd, seeks to help people improve their living conditions at low and no cost. However, our team was asked to work on site at the ministry center. We were charged with building a covered shelter that could be used for outdoor eating and group meetings. The director of the ministry shared with me that there were going to be several large groups coming to Grifton during the summer. As they are currently organized, there is not enough space for them to provide to groups to meet in. Our work would hopefully provide some more space for them. I think some of us were a little disappointed that we would not be getting out into the community. However, as we worked on Wednesday, I thought about the passage in 1 Timothy 5:
"Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching; for the scripture says, 'You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,' and, 'The laborer deserves to be paid.'"
I have always heard this verse quoted in regards to salaries for ministers. However, I came to realize that this passage really spoke to me and our group. The GMM pours almost all of its resources into meeting the needs of the community. We had a chance, with our work, to honor those who would not honor themselves. We were serving the servants. We talked about this as a group, and I think we came to realize that what we were doing was just as valuable a ministry as what other groups were doing out in the community. On the last day we were there, Billy, the director, challenged us to think about the work that was accomplished that week not so much as our work but as God's work through us. I really am glad that I had the opportunity to be used by God in such a meaningful way.