Youth Mission 2011 in an uncomfortable setting (for me)

Today is the Midway point through our mission trip. It has been a good experience for both the youth & myself. At the beginning of the week we were asked to think of something we wanted God to do different in us. I challenged myself not quickly dismiss the evangelical leaning of the organization putting on the trip. I have done pretty good.  given that right after this they launched into a “Father God” prayer. I immediately thought this was not going to be easy. However upon pointing this out to the leadership they committed to try not to do it. So far so good!
I often struggle with jumping to quickly in judgements of conservative Christians. Being able to set that aside I have been able to see some amazing ministry I might have missed simply because of a difference of perspective.
For example, Salvation Army 614 a group I would often not look into is doing some incredible incarnational ministry in a way that has led to many changed lives not by seeking to “save sinners” but by recognizing the responsibility the larger society has for it and looking to do something about it. Another was Alience church, they are a church of white upper class (conservative) folks who are opening their doors to the people in need of a little extra support who live in the shadows of their doors. They are not chasing them off the property and making sure the doors are locked and the Organ is well protected but reaching out to discover ways to make the neighborhood a better place.
All of this is occurring under the direction of an evangelical organization.(Youthworks)  A place I do have experience with but was a bit concerned about.
None of this seems to be stopping this group of open minded youth either. Last night when asked to come up with an idea of how students can go home and make a difference in our community they wanted to start a safe place for LGBT students in our schools!
I am recognizing that I can’t be to quick to jump to conclusions about folks. While the long term trajectory of some of these theological positions taken may not be positive it still allows lots of work for God to work. I need to think more about this in the future weeks and hopefully find a place where I can more openly accept these brothers & sisters just like I desire of them for myself & others currently perceived as the unloveable.
This is just my thoughts for now & of course they are subject to change, but I hope not too much!

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