John Rockefeller was one of the richest men in the world. During an interview a reporter asked him how much money is enough. Rockefeller responded, “Just a little more.” Growing up I understood mission work as going to some place to help do a project. I have spent the last 13 years at Shiloh on the receiving end of student mission teams coming from Lipscomb University and sacrificing so much for inner city kids and am extremely thankful for their labor of love. Mission work is not about accomplishing a job or a task although this is so helpful. Often teams come and complete projects, which are always helpful and appreciated. But I am especially thankful and blessed by those, like Lipscomb students, who come year after year and pour their lives into a mission rather than a project .
Lipscomb students are involved with us in three significant ways. First, students form mission teams and sacrifice their spring breaks to come to the Bronx in New York and serve in neglected and impoverished school districts. I am amazed when I see students from Lipscomb come year after year to work in these extreme conditions. They request to be placed with the same teachers and search out kids that have graduated from 4th to 5th grade.
Second, students come in May to our inner city camp located in upstate New York called Shiloh. They are always eager to do whatever work is necessary like mowing grass, remolding buildings, cleaning kitchens, painting pools and so much more. There are no campers present to see them doing this work or to say thank you for all they accomplish. These students wear themselves out physically so campers can come for two weeks and enjoy a place of safety and fun.
Finally, Camp Shiloh employs 10 Lipscomb students of the 33 staff members who come during the entire summer and work with over 300 kids at camp. Staff members learn patience and endurance as the campers keep them moving ever second of the day. What a blessing it to see the love of God being poured out into the lives of these campers as the love of God is taught and demonstrated daily.
I don’t want to minimize the service given to a single mission effort as these acts of service do bless. Where I want to challenge you is to pick a mission like Shiloh and give yourself wholeheartedly to the work year after year. We need students who will build relationships long term and speak into the lives of campers year after year. I pray that even after college you will make a lifelong commitment to the blessing of that work. Encourage others to join you as you serve and sacrifice for that mission.
I am thankful to the students that served this year with us. We are so blessed to have you and I can’t wait to see you next year. Remember, when considering how much missions is enough, the answer is “just a little more.”