myMISSION

The Gospel and Cigarettes

Carrying coffee, my heart pounding out of my chest, I knew the conversation we were about to have. Discussing pleasantries of our week, we sat down on a bench in the park and watched the ocean.

Joy and I had been friends for a while, we met at a wedding and grew a friendship from there. She knew about my life and I had heard all about hers. Joy knew I was a Christian, but we had commonalities in our views of global politics and the beauty found in diversity.

As she lit her cigarette, I began to tell her how excited for Easter I was because it’s one of my favorite holidays. Having never really heard the meaning behind Easter, Joy asked me to explain more. With my heart fluttering, I sensed from the Holy Spirit this was the moment to share about Jesus.

The Great Commission

From a young age, the Great Commission became a motto of sorts for me. I knew that I was called to the nations. I had no doubts that I would be the one to tell others about Christ, especially those who had never heard.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and sure enough the Lord placed me right in the center of an unengaged, unreached people group. I spent time in language learning how to share my heart and His words with this people who walked in such spiritual darkness. My lifelong vision for missions had come true. I was actually living it out.

In 2014, what started out as a six-month stateside assignment to the United States turned into the Lord calling us back to Mississippi. To say my world was rocked would be an understatement, but that's a story for another time. What I want to share with you is how the Lord redefined the Great Commission for me. He used it to create the same missions vision just from a different perspective.

One by One

I want to know a little bit about your myMISSION group. Are you reaching new women each month? Have you reached a plateau? Are you in decline? Are you helping women match their God-given talents with the needs of the community in which they are planted? Are you on the lookout for those opportunities? Are you using myMISSION Leader along with Missions Mosaic for creative ways to share missions information and ideas for missions projects?

I started a new missions group last year. I’d like to tell you that we are a large group, but that is just not the case. We are a small group of seven or eight. We have other women who weave in and out joining us for various missions projects. And sometimes we have as few as three of us who meet together.

However, I’ve learned that sometimes less is best. Smaller groups allow us to make friends and share what God has done in our lives. As we move out to do missions, a handful of women is less formidable than a large group. Even if we had a large group of women who came together, I’d break them down into small groups to head out to do missions. I believe in the power of small.

Your Move

Have you ever felt that life was like a game of . . . (insert game of choice). The cliché would finish by saying “chess,” but in my house the games of choice would be Memory, Yahtzee, or Go Fish.

I am sure at times we have felt that we are just going through the motions, living from one moment to the next. If you have small children in your home, there are times when you live minute to minute, trust me, I’ve been there. As mothers we can be so overwhelmed by this role and the job it brings that we miss opportunities God has placed in our paths.

The 8-5 Life and Missions

Step 1: God places a call on your heart to missions.

Step 2: You pray about this call and figure out how to do it.

Step 3: You board a plane to another country.

Step 4: You stay there as long as the Lord has you sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In a few steps, we define missions. It’s for the people who “heard a call” and then move to another country. For so long, I shared this definition and lived it. God laid nations on my heart, setting my sights on those places until I moved and lived there.

But, now? This definition has changed. I see missions not only as a step onto a plane, but as a lifestyle.

We love the Lord, with all our heart, soul, and mind, and we love our neighbor as ourselves.

We plant roots in our cities; we find work; we seek out the betterment of every person around us and share the love of Jesus everywhere we go. I don’t want to live a mission statement that takes me overseas for a season and then I move home and my time is up.

Reaching Beyond Your Culture

When I was in first grade, a girl named Esther joined our class. My teacher explained that Esther’s family had just moved from Hungary, and Esther spoke very little English.

I loved Esther from day one. I thought she was fascinating, and I wanted to help her feel a part of our class. I discovered the perfect tool for breaking the ice: stuffed animals. Each day, I would bring one stuffed animal for Esther to play with in class. Even though she couldn’t communicate well with words, we both knew how to play with toys.

Later I decided that I wanted to get Esther a Hungarian Bible. My mom tried to help me find one, but we were unsuccessful. However, we did buy her a Bible in English. Esther’s mom told me that their family had one Bible, but Esther had never had one of her own. She was very excited.

Since befriending Esther, I have always had a passion for sharing the gospel with people from a different culture. The great news in college is that I’m surrounded by people from other cultures!

Vision Casting

Often on the missions field we talk about "vision casting.” Having a vision for what you are doing is important because it causes you to focus on the long term goal and what you can do currently to help achieve it.

Through the Lord's grace, I am "mommy" to two funny and beautiful gals. Long before they were born, I was praying for them and asking the Lord for wisdom in parenting and raising the ones He was entrusting us with. Little did I know then, that I would be praying that more and more as I try to live out this calling of motherhood.

Now, I'm not sure I've ever called it "vision casting" but if you ask me what my vision is for them, I know what it is. My vision is that they would walk intimately with the Father, that they have joy that is unspeakable and peace that passes all understanding. I pray for them to know His salvation the very first time His Spirit calls them to Himself and that we, as parents, have given them the knowledge of who He is and the gift that He has given.

Becoming an Effective myMISSION Leader

Just because someone has been a leader for a long time doesn’t mean she has arrived. All leaders can learn, grow, and develop. Leadership training is offered through state WMUs. Classes are now provided through Develop, WMU’s online, on-demand leadership training. We want you to be an effective Christian leader through your leadership role with myMISSION.

Being effective means producing the desired results. As a myMISSION leader, you want your group to learn more about missions, give to missions, and do missions. It is the leader’s responsibility to continually and clearly keep this vision at the forefront.

Into His Hands

When you hear the word vision what first comes to mind? The sight you have from your eyes? The dreams you have had? A mental image of a hope for the future?

Vision can also be expressed by the desires of our heart, the goals we desire to be lived out by ourselves and those we love. Is there anyone in your life that you have a vision for? As mothers, I am confident to say that our children come to mind. We desire the best for them from their education to future spouses. We want to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed and to be best prepared for the world when they leave our nest.

It is only natural for us to have these desires. I, myself have these visions for my children. I also desire for my boys to be men of God and my daughter to be a woman of God. The visions I have for them I lay into the hands of God. I am well aware of the world outside my front door and around the world, but I know we serve a mighty God—a God Who will call and equip my children and yours.

The Woman She Was Made to Be

As I hang up the phone, there is a yearning deep within my soul for more. More than this current pain, more than what life seems to be dealing to her. From the very beginning of our relationship, I have seen a strength in her. A strength willing to do anything for her family, willing to sacrifice herself for the needs of others, and can face countless circumstances that would break the will of many human beings.

She perseveres. She always has. In a season where money was tight, her father passed away unexpectedly, and she suffered a stroke. She carried on. Filled with grace to put one foot in front of the other. She continued living, continued listening to God, and continued loving the world around her. And now—the pain is loud.

The throbs of a broken heart echo in her voice, this pain is not foreign to her, she has felt it before, but this time it cuts deeper hitting her core. She thought this would be different, that he would be different. But countless lies later, here she stands—alone and fighting for hope.

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