Short-term missions teams often serve in places facing difficulty. Rather than pity, I approach places with optimism and hope. Why?
In Joshua 7, after Achan sins against God, he (guilty) and his family (some guilty, others likely not guilty) died and were buried in the Valley of Achor, which means, Valley of Trouble.
How does God connect with people facing the Valley of Trouble…whether through their own choices, or the choices of others?
We see the Valley of Achor referenced again Hosea 2:14-15, when God says of the unfaithful wife, Gomer, “I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. I will make the Valley of Achor (Trouble) a door of hope.”
He leads her into the desert to speak tenderly to her! I love His tender voice in the midst of deserts I face.
God makes the Valley of Trouble a Door of Hope! He’s somehow able to connect with people in their worst moments to show them hope.
Later in the chapter (Hosea 2:19), the writer speaks of Him connecting with Gomer through “righteousness, justice, kindness, faithfulness and compassion.”
God speaks to people with tenderness and shows them compassion. He can make the biggest trouble, a door of hope. Whether it’s a personal trial or an earthquake that changes the future of your country, God sees trouble and shares hope.
As you serve through short-term missions, remember the compassion He shows. As He writes the story, He somehow uses people like us to communicate His compassion. It’s also important to remember that He shows the same compassion to us. In my deepest valley, He showered me with His love. Remember that His mission and His love, and the encouraging words we’ll share are true for us as well.