Adults on Mission Blog

Called to Action

I love being active. I love playing sports and games, exploring new neighborhoods, and doing hands-on projects that show others love and compassion. This call to action is apparent in our Christian life in many ways. Nowhere in Scripture are we told to sit tight and watch the work of the Lord. We are called to take up our cross and follow the Lord—through action. This is great news! We get to be an active part of God’s plan for His people.

For many years, I’ve been active in missions, taking trips to places like Thailand, Haiti, and even Iowa, but God has more often and with more impact called me to action in the places I have lived. There is nothing like the joy of seeing a friend or neighbor come to know Christ. There is greater love shared through continuous relationship with those hurting around us.

Simple Love Goes a Long Way

Three weeks after I moved into my new apartment, I met Kana. Kana and her daughter had just moved in across the hall. The immigrant single mom had recently lost her job and didn’t have much outside support.

After a couple of “hellos” in passing, Kana and I ran into each other one day as she was looking for a job. We had a long conversation about her recent hardships and how discouraged she was; she also expressed deep gratitude for her new home and how she hoped this was a starting point for her and her little girl. As I stood and listened, I realized how much she needed the love and support of a family. I told her about my church and how much it means to me to have a church family to support me when things are hard.

Voices of Annie

Each year as Easter rolls around, I look forward to hearing the voices of Annie. Some of the voices are male, others female. Some speak with a heavy French accent, others with a southern twang like me, yet others with a western drawl. Each voice is sweet and strong, speaking passionately about how God is using him or her to fulfill His work in North America.

These are the voices of North American Mission Board missionaries supported through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, telling their stories on videos provided by NAMB.

To view the many videos, visit AnnieArmstrong.com. Prayerfully select the videos to share with your group.

Kimberly Sowell reaches thousands of women through her speaking and writing ministry. Visit KimberlySowell.com for more information.

Get Creative for Annie Armstrong

Looking for some great ideas for how to promote the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions? There are tons of ways to promote missions, and missions offering seasons are great times to get creative. Here are 3 ideas to incorporate into your plan:

  1. Do a FaceTime or Skype call with a North American missionary. If he or she is not available during your meeting time, consider asking the missionary to send you a video.
  2. Host a special prayer meeting for the offering. Use the time to talk about specific needs across the United States and missionaries serving in cities and to pray for specific people and needs.
  3. Invite a church member who has been on a domestic missions trip to share about his or her experience serving in a missional context. 

Pray and help create a plan that will increase your group’s heart for missions and, in turn, missional giving.

Christy Dyer is a North American Mission Board church-planting team member serving through missions engagement and mobilization in New York City. To read more about her ministry, visit BrightHopeBigCity.com

Easter Bracelet

One spring afternoon, I invited the women in my section of the neighborhood to come to my house for a finger-food supper and Easter fun. We shared food and exchanged pleasantries and then I handed each woman a paper plate covered in beads, thread, and a bracelet clasp. Beginning with the Last Supper, I shared the Scripture of the Easter story, instructing the women when to add the next bead of the story. A brown bead symbolized the bread, and a deep purple bead the wine. A flower bead represented the betrayal kiss in the garden. The women listened intently to each set of Scriptures, waiting with anticipation to find out which bead came next.

Halfway through the story, one woman said shyly, “Excuse me; do you mind if we stop for just a moment? I left my boyfriend when I came over for the party, thinking I’d just drop in for a minute and come right back, but I’ve decided I want to stay. I just want to call him and tell him not to wait on me.” What a beautiful confirmation that this Easter party was God’s idea to share Christ with my neighbors!

Glorifying Jesus

We want our life, our work, and all that we do and say to glorify Christ.

We pray, read our Bible, keep the commandments, and guard our marriage vows. We show compassion to others and follow the Golden Rule. We are involved in church and strive to trust Jesus more. We exhibit a good work ethic.

All those are indeed vital to living a life that pleases Christ.

Lloyd Stilley, pastor of First Baptist Church in Gulf Shores, Alabama, noted that there is something more we can do to bring even greater glory to Jesus.

“Serving Christ by serving others is your destiny in this life,” Stilley said. “If serving Christ by serving others is your destiny in this life, then the best possible way to serve is by leading another person to Jesus.”

Helping someone come to forgiveness in Christ is the utmost service that a believer can do for Him, Stilley said. Telling an individual how to receive Jesus Christ as Savior is a Christian’s “best possible work.”

That brings glory to our King!

Leigh Pritchett lives in the southeastern United States, a missions field that is “white unto harvest.”

I Didn’t Want to Do It

What teenage girl hasn’t begged God, “I know I have done wrong and have no right to ask this, but please don’t let my mother find out!” Certainly I had many times. But 15 years into adulthood, what was God asking of me? I’d been invited to speak at a church on the topic of my choice, but God was calling me to share the testimony of my tumultuous, sin-laden teen years. Why make me do this in front of several hundred women? It was going to be painful. I probably wouldn’t be invited back. But worst of all, my mom’s best friend asked to accompany me to the event. Oh, the humiliation!

I didn’t want to do it. Talking about one’s sin and failures is never fun, but I had to believe that God had a purpose. On the evening of the event, I took the stage and told my story. Some women wept. Some were flabbergasted. Some nervously nodded on their way out the door, but a few stood in line to weep with me over their daughters’ trials. It was in these intermingled tears that I witnessed how God blesses obedience. And praise God—Mom’s friend and I both survived.

Courage to Obey

We often stumble all over obedience. Yet when we do obey, we find how powerfully God uses it.

Carrie Stallings discovered this on a Peru missions trip. Carrie walked by a field and saw a woman using a tub and washboard to do laundry.

“God spoke in my heart and told me to go and wash her clothes,” Carrie said.

As she washed, she talked to the woman named Exalta. Carrie learned that Exalta felt unforgivable because she had had an abortion.

“As I was washing Exalta’s clothes, I was able to witness to her and tell her about God and how much He loved her; . . . He sent Jesus to die for all [her sins].”

That day, Exalta traded her guilt for a new life in Jesus.

“It taught me that when I surrender to God and His perfect plan, then there is peace, joy, and blessings like no other,” Carrie said. “Through my surrender and obedience, I was able to see a woman forgiven of guilt and sin that had plagued her for years. I was able to experience the joy of leading her to forgiveness and to Christ!”

Leigh Pritchett lives in the southeastern United States, a missions field that is “white unto harvest.”

Hot Fudge Cake and the Gospel (Part 3 of 3)

I did not see that coming. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was not expecting a positive response. I assumed this entire scenario was about God testing me, and perhaps He was, but how self-focused of me not to realize that this wasn’t just about God working on me! This scenario was also 100% about a young waiter at a diner, feeling Holy Spirit conviction and needing guidance.

My waiter shared with me that his grandmother had been sharing Jesus with him, but he still had some concerns about his sin. God gave me the words to assure him of His grace, and then he sat across from me in the booth, bowed his head, and prayed to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

I couldn’t help but wonder if his grandmother had been praying for his salvation that very night. Maybe she prayed for God to send a messenger. Truthfully, if God had asked me to go to that diner to witness to a waiter, I may have given into fear and found some excuse not to go, but God knew He could get me there with hot fudge cake. Thank you, God, for hot fudge cake.

Author and speaker Kimberly Sowell calls women to live beyond themselves and surrender their lives fully to Christ.

Sharing Intentionally

Time and again, God has put in my path people who needed to hear about Jesus. Unfortunately my life story is not one of reaching people for Jesus but one of missed opportunities. Too often, I’ve stood in a funeral home confronted with the reality that the chance to tell this person about Jesus is gone forevermore.

Recently I read a column by Chip Warren, minister of education at First Baptist Church in Albertville, Alabama, about focusing on evangelism. He said this requires setting a specific goal for evangelism, devoting time to ministries that lead to telling others about Jesus, and understanding that personal evangelism is the “DNA” of evangelism.

Suddenly I saw that I must be intentional about witnessing or else I will continue to squander opportunities. I must

  • make a plan for sharing the gospel daily and weekly and then act upon it;
  • seek situations that will allow me to tell someone about Jesus;
  • let sharing about Jesus become as essential to me as breathing is.

Leigh Pritchett lives in the southeastern United States, a missions field that is “white unto harvest.”

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