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Snakebit Missionaries

In the South, it's very common for a dozen high school or college kids to pile into a bus or plane bound for Mexico to "build" a church or school or house. These mission trips used to bother me a lot. I resented the rich American kids and their professional (but good hearted) parents shelling out $500 a pop to spend a vacation in a semi-exotic local where they "worked" for people in need. The sense of self-satisfaction it gave the kids, I found doubly annoying. It was as if the kids didn't get the joke: Those needy people could have built something better in half the time with less than the amount of money it cost to get even one of you down there. If you or your parents or your church really wanted to help I thought, you should have cancelled the trip and sent the money instead, right?

I don't feel this way anymore because now I get it, and now I believe that churches and parents get it as well. I heard a minister say "Of course these types of trips are for the people going. If it wasn't about the kids going, we'd just send money." They're working a long-term, world changing strategy here - a Snakebit mentality. Sambo Mockbee felt the same way, I think. Infect the wealthy with service and care and they'll never get enough of serving.