January - IT Project
The girl to my right was from Texas A & M, and she was in tears. We had just watched as the swami poured 62 gallons of milk, about 30 gallons of water, and 5 gallons of orange juice over the head of the statue of his god. Growing up in small town Texas hadn't prepared her for the Hindu ceremony. It was called "The cleansing of the god." Hindu worshippers from all over the Los Angeles area had come to bring offerings to this god, this idol. They had hoped that by cleansing their god, that in return, they would receive blessing. It seemed very strange to me. I had grown up hearing about a God who died so that I could be clean. God was clean, I was not. I looked to my right again. She was looking out of the window.
Every summer, about 50 students from around the U.S. travel to Southern California. They visit a mosque at The University of Southern California. They visit the largest Buddhist temple in the western hemisphere. It, too, is in L.A. They visit the Hare Krishna compound in downtown Los Angeles. They visit the Hindu temple in Malibu. They watch as worshippers of the world's religions bow down, burn incense, chant prayers, dance...worship someone or something besides Jesus Christ. Their response is often similar to my friend from Texas. As they look on, they remember the word of God which says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but by me," (John 14:6) and "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
"Welcome to I.T." These are the words that greet the participants of the I.T.-Intensive Training Project, put on each summer by The Traveling Team. What else is involved in the 50 day project? They will take the Perspectives Course on the World Christian Movement at the U.S. Center for World Mission in Pasadena. They will share their faith in Chinatown and with international students on the campuses of USC and UCLA. They will hear from missionaries on various aspects of missions including how to reach out to peoples of various beliefs, and they will take 50 days of mission exposure back to their campuses to infect their friends, churches, families, and campus ministries with a passion to see Jesus Christ glorified in every culture on the planet. Their plans will be altered and their lives changed, and they will love every minute of it.
Would you consider how the Lord might have you spend your summer? Don't just consider the I.T. Project. Take a mission trip, reach out to internationals in the urban areas of the United States, mobilize your church to a heart for missions. If the I.T. Project is the place that the Lord leads you, great! Put simply, don't waste your summer. There will always be someone to work at the Quickie Mart. You will rarely have your summers as free as they are in college. Let God decide what you do with the ones that you have. If you aren't in college, how are you spending your vacation time? Has God chosen your career path, or did you decide that on your own. Let us all, as the Bride of Christ, submit to the Lord. Let us go where He will lead us. Otherwise, we will waste our lives.
If you are interested in finding out more about the I.T. Project or would like to apply, go to: http://thetravelingteam.org