Nathan Dove is a youth minister in Waynesboro, Virginia. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Yale Divinity School.
 

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Mission Trips Don't 'Bring Jesus' to Communities

by Nathan Dove 06-19-2019

I remember the first mission trip that I went on. My youth group spent a week in New Orleans helping a local missionary group run a Vacation Bible School for neighborhood kids. Our objective, we were told, was simple: bring Jesus to a place where he was desperately needed but was often rejected. The implication that I drew, at 15 years old, was that the poverty and the street-side memorials for victims of gun violence I was seeing, and the seeming absence of almost any man over 30, existed because this community had rejected Jesus. If only Jesus were in their hearts, everything would be different.