Every day when we wake up, check our news feeds on our phones, or our favorite national news there seems to be new cases of the Coronavirus. The news stokes fear because fear is what keeps people coming back to their channel. The fear of the coronavirus has caused stores to run out of their stock of toilet paper, anti-bacterial hand soap, and bottled water. People are stocking up on supplies in their house just in case they are required to stay inside for days. And the news keeps selling fear.
Fear has swept our nation and our world. Fear to the point of hysteria.
Facilitating short-term mission trips to Mexico for the past 13 years, fear has kept many people from coming to Mexico. Many ministries have endured the news-driven fear of Mexico drug violence, swine flu, Zika virus, the refugee caravan and immigrants at the southern border. These news stoked fears have caused many people to cancel their short-term mission trips, specifically to Northern Baja.
Now don’t get me wrong, we need to heed the warnings and take precautions, but as followers of Jesus, fear should not be the determining factor of what God has called us to do. When Jesus called people to follow Him, He never said, “Come follow me because you won’t have to worry about your safety.” Or “I have called you to go into all the world but only if it is safe.” Jesus never promised that safety was a pre-requisite of following Him to wherever He has called you to go.
Again, before some fo you blow me up, I am not saying go with reckless abandon and don’t consider the possible ramifications. What I am saying is seriously pray about what God has called you to do and where to go. Listen well and make your decision based on what God is calling you to do and NOT on what the news media is telling you to do.
If you do cancel your trip or if your trip leader cancels your trip, may I ask you to do one small thing? All the ministries who host short-term missions depend on you. Not just your projects or your presence, but let’s be honest, they depend on you financially. Chances they have written your trip into their budget for this month and/or this year. They are depending on your money to help further their ministry. I know canceling a trip is a very difficult decision and some trips might lose money. But would you please consider donating to the ministry or organization you were going to partner with on your trip? It doesn’t have to be everything you have committed, but at least a portion of it. If you can’t come and work on the projects, your donation might go to hire someone locally, providing a job, to do the project you were going to do. How cool is that!
So, don’t let fear determine if you go on a short-term mission trip or not, that is God’s decision. If God leads you to cancel your trip, please consider giving financially to the ministry/organization you were going to partner with on your trip. I know they would greatly appreciate it!