WMU Trips: Renae's Story

More Than Just a Week:  Renae's Story
by Emily Killen

The New York City metro area is home to a population of more than 22 million people, of whom many are foreign born, making the city an international access point for missionaries without ever leaving American soil. As a believer who had served on missions trips and worked hard to raise money to go overseas to share the gospel, Renae Williford saw the myMISSION trip to NYC as an incredible opportunity, no passport required. In May 2015, Renae left her family in North Carolina to serve with 31 other women taking part in the myMISSION trip alongside missionaries and ministries in NYC.

Renae and her team served in the Brownsville, Brooklyn, community with a ministry called Graffiti 3, which serves the poverty-stricken area with legal counsel, children’s programs, community Bible studies, and hot meals. Renae had the opportunity to serve in the after-school program as well as prayerwalk the streets of Brownsville, seeing the needs of the people. As Renae walked and prayed, she felt burdened for the area. “You can sense a desperate need for the church there to rise up and be the hands and feet of Christ,” Renae said. “There is a tangible sense of darkness there . . . They are not only bound spiritually, but socioeconomically as well.”

When Renae returned home to North Carolina, the burden for Brownsville stayed on her heart. She began to see similarities between Brownsville and the communities surrounding her church and sought ways to do more outreach and serve them. As the Thanksgiving holiday approached and Renae continually prayed for Brownsville, she felt compelled to bring her husband to NYC and decided to make a trip with the whole family through which their kids could learn and give back. Renae’s church got involved, too, filling over 70 ziplock bags to give out and serve the homeless community in NYC.

Although the national myMISSION trip to NYC was less than a week long, its impact has reached far beyond the individuals who served. People like Renae and her family have been changed forever through the experiences they had and the relationships they formed.

Interested in seeing what the national myMISSION trip is all about? Just go! Renae says, “I have never regretted saying yes when it comes to missions . . . Ministry is messy, but there is no regret with getting involved.”

Learn more about Graffiti 3 and how you can get involved!

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