Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tonight on CBS

In 1990, and 1992, and 1994, and 1996, and, oh, yeah, in 1999, I traveled overseas with a group called Teen Missions. Tonight, CBS is airing a documentary about Teen Missions on 48 Hours. I'll be watching, and I invite you to watch as well. I have no doubt that the view from the outside will be quite different from the view from the inside. That I now disagree with some of their tactics, particularly in terms of evangelism, is true. That I feel that the positive outweighs the negative is also very true. Teen Missions does a lot of excellent work around the globe, serving others and truly helping those in need. Before it was even on the radar of most people, Teen Missions had already recognized the need for help with AIDS in Africa and had set up orphanages specifically for children whose parents had been taken by AIDS. In 1994, one of the films that we showed in Tanzania addressed some of the myths surrounding AIDS, such as that having sex with a virgin will cure you. That was fourteen years ago, long before any celebrities launched AIDS in Africa awareness campaigns. They were ahead of their time, and not because they were trying to get the scoop on something and get ahead of someone else. They were ahead of their time because they genuinely care about people. That is exemplary, regardless of how you feel about their particular beliefs and how they choose to express them in language. Their actions speak louder than their sometimes cheesy words. They care for those in need around the world, but also for the teens they are sending out. I felt that care; I know it is heartfelt and true.

For me, what Teen Missions gave me was a broader sense of who I was, and am, in light of what the whole world looks like. My understanding of global issues and culture was cultivated during those summers away. I would not be the person I am, with the heart I have, without the influence of those trips. Teen Missions grew my mind and expanded my heart. It opened up the world to me, truly. I don't know if you'll see that on this documentary, but I hope you'll see it in the way I live.

Tune in to CBS this evening at 8/7 Central to take a look. Take it with a grain of salt, and please ask me questions if you would like to know more.

1 comment:

Shiz said...

How was it?