07 Feb Why We Contribute to Mission UpReach
By H Kendle Yates, MD
Take a look anywhere, everywhere. The world is filled with people in need. Thankfully, there are good-hearted people who respond with mercy and love. Many faith-based organizations have arisen with great intentions. However, unknowingly many of these organizations end up harming the very people they serve by creating dependency through quick handouts instead of making labor-intensive, long-term investments that are necessary for true long-term success. Despite nobly meeting many physical needs, humanitarian-only organizations neglect the core person – the spiritual self. People of faith know that when the soul is overlooked, poor life choices often ensue leading to a life filled with unhealthy results.
Mission UpReach’s philosophy is different. Its primary goal is to profoundly and permanently change lives through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It does this by developing long-term relationships while addressing the physical and spiritual needs of the people it serves. Rather than having Americans lead and locals follow, Mission UpReach is all about providing education and vocational training to the people it serves. Consequently, local Hondurans have become their own leaders in education, agriculture, and business. This is especially true in spiritual matters which has resulted in many self-led, self-sustaining, self-replicating churches.
This empowerment of local people should sound familiar as it is what Jesus modeled during his ministry. Jesus educated and prepared his disciples to be effective even after his departure (with the continued guidance of the Holy Spirit). Mission UpReach similarly prepares local Hondurans to be effective in their communities even after (and especially after) their training with Mission UpReach is completed. With the continued Spirit’s guidance, these “graduates” have gone on to improve their communities and further God’s kingdom.
Why do we contribute to Mission UpReach? The answer is simple. We believe Mission UpReach approaches ministry the same way Jesus did. Its emphasis on local empowerment instead of dependency, its patience for time consuming education instead of quick fixes, its wide breadth of ministries rather than narrowly focused works are reflections of Jesus’ own ministry. Additionally, well before it became politically correct, Jesus’ ministry was inclusive. Whether it is a ministry outreach to women, to children, to the abused, to the deaf, to the sick, to the poor… Mission UpReach is inclusive and places value on the “least of these” …just like Jesus did.
Contributions to Mission UpReach are not limited to finances. Giving of one’s time and effort are also important ways to help. For the past few years (except for the pandemic year of 2020), I have recruited surgical mission teams for Mission UpReach. A surgical trip is a great way to give and share the love that Christ has for all of us. Most of the busy surgeons, anesthetists, nurses, and techs that have come on these trips are new to medical mission work. Nevertheless, many of them have come back for repeat surgical mission trips. It is truly wonderful to see the hand of God through the hands of medical volunteers.
I hope these words help you understand the truly effective nature of Mission UpReach’s work. With that in mind, allow me to encourage you to give generously and not just out of your pocket but also out of your calendar. I encourage you to join one of the many mission teams that come down throughout the year to see firsthand the numerous lives that are being touched, the local skills that are being improved, and the priceless souls that are being saved. On a personal note, if you have surgical skills, I invite you to join us on one of our surgical missions. Whatever your contribution may be, know that it will grow the potential of individuals, the welfare of communities, and the outreach of the God’s Kingdom in western Honduras.