God has put within each of us a desire for excitement, a need to rise above the mere everyday existence, a passion for adventure. We may have suppressed the burning urgency of this passion so that all that is left is a small glowing ember. Or we may try to satisfy this need with second-hand adventure such as watching sports or reality TV. But it is still there. It is still part of our basic make up. Our desire for excitement is part of our DNA.
Satisfaction in Helping Others
God has also given each of us a purpose. We are here for more than just to get all we can get. “The one who dies with the most toys wins” may make a humorous bumper sticker but it is not the answer for a fulfilled life. God has given each of us talents and skills, such as medical, construction, teaching, listening and caring skills. Our purpose and true satisfaction is found in using our unique gifts to help others, especially those who are not able to help themselves.
When we were working alongside new believers in Central America in 1998, we began to hear about many, many more villages out in the jungles and mountains where no one had ever gone to tell the people about Christ. They told us about the difficulties in reaching them such as steep, mountainous terrain with no roads. They also told us about the difficulty in sharing the Gospel since most of the people are illiterate and many speak unwritten languages.
Reaching The Lost
God used these stories to stir within us a passion for reaching these lost people and thus began Extreme Missionary Adventures. XMA’s passion is to help national believers preach the Gospel where Christ is not known (Romans 15:20). We use whatever means necessary to reach these people in remote areas—4 wheel drive trucks, mules, hiking, bush planes, kayaks and more.
Once we get there we then use the Jesus Film, oral Bible storying, personal testimony and other oral means to share the Gospel. We also believe God’s Word teaches us to demonstrate God’s love as well as preach it, so we are very active in fulfilling the great commandment by helping these isolated people with their human needs such as food, clothing, shoes, clean water, medical and other needs.
Here is what Tony Campanale, a participant on a recent XMA trip, said:
I went to The Peninsula a few weeks ago for my first out of country experience. I was jealous of their way of life. The simplicity. The genuine sense of community. The life I live lacks those things. It is amazing that we can be involved in seven different church activities per week and never experience community. Here are people that don’t have a church, little wardrobe, and virtually no gadgets, yet they experience true community like so many of our churches claim to offer, yet miss the mark. It is my opinion that you can’t create simplicity or community until you have truly experienced it.
Adventure With A Purpose
On an extreme missionary adventure you’ll get all of the adventure you want but it’s not just adventure for adventure’s sake. It’s an adventure with a purpose. It could be showing love to abandoned children in a small village orphanage in Honduras, a medical/dental team working in villages along an Amazon tributary in the Peruvian jungle, giving educational assistance to a teacher in a one-room school high up in the mountains of Central Asia, helping with a building project in the interior of Mexico or maybe helping rural Central Americans improve their standard of living with micro-credit or farm assistance projects. Most importantly, through all of these and other activities, showing others how Jesus can give purpose, peace and meaning to their lives.