Women on Mission

Home Missions

When we think of missions, most of us visualize passports, suitcases, and travel. We seldom consider the possibilities at home. Yet, opportunities abound where we live.

International students, business people, migrant workers, and more live all around us. Many need to hear the story of God’s love and see it demonstrated in our lives.

Without knowing a word of another language, we can serve as conversation partners to help international friends practice their English skills. We can share meals, holidays, shopping, and daily experiences. Learning about one another’s culture opens countless doors.

Imagine how we would feel and what we would want under reversed circumstances. Pray for God’s guidance. Then take the plunge.

Let me warn you: This can be addictive. As God touches others through us, He also changes our hearts.

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers” (Hebrews 13:2 NIV).

 

Why Bother?

WMU meetings and activities demand an investment of time and finances. Regardless of what we do, they remind us more needs to be done. So, why bother?

Why not spend those precious moments and dollars on ourselves and our families?

A recent associational missions fair answered those question for me. Pressed for time, I quickly set up my table, pasted a smile on my face, and greeted our guests. I discussed my display, stamped the children’s “passports,” and answered questions.

Then two teens approached. After a few moments of chatting, we began exploring in depth the challenges of sharing God’s love at home and around the world. A mixture of excitement and anxiety played across their faces and in their voices. And I saw myself.

I remembered God’s call to share His love. I relived The Great Commission’s tug on my heart. And I thanked God for the reminder.

New Doors

Plans made? Check. Finances arranged? Check. Several weeks each year earmarked for international missions? Check. I was all set and ready to go.

Then life happened. Family health issues halted all mission trips.

Nevertheless, God led in ways I could never have imagined. I had written for church services, mission trips, and a couple of devotions for a bulletin service. Yet, I never considered myself a writer.

Slowly but surely that began to change. I studied the craft, and opportunities increased.

A writer’s conference speaker introduced me to a ministry that translates radio drama and Bible studies for broadcast around the world, including countries closed to the gospel.

Imagine that. Now I reach more people in Jesus’ name than I did in all my mission trips combined. Isn’t God amazing?

Ministry, Russian Style

A simple man, long past middle age entered the room. Well-worn clothes and shoes that had traveled too many miles failed to dampen his spirit. He spoke of torture at the hands of the communist government. With a hint of a smile, he said churches now meet where his torture occurred—in the building where we sat. He captured our mission team’s attention and hearts.

We served with Brother Edward shortly after the Soviet Union’s fall. He arranged the first ever women’s prison visit. Through his passionate preaching, the women turned to Jesus, tears flowing. Our tears mingled with theirs.

Although Brother Edward’s wife neared death, their fervor for ministry continued. They knew their temporary suffering would soon lead to eternal comfort in the presence of their Savior. Until then, they continued to invite others to join them there.

They accomplished so much with so little. What are we doing with what we have?

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44 NIV).

Form an Unlikely Missions Partnership

The crowded restaurant held tables of church volunteers, local college sorority sisters, high school service club members, and families. This unlikely mishmash of people was there for a fund-raiser for The Hub, a homeless ministry in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Hub’s leadership team has intentionally worked to welcome volunteers and supporters from a variety of groups, along with its primary target of churches, resulting in a sense of community between Christians and non-Christians who serve northwest Louisiana’s homeless.

Missions projects with other organizations are fun but come with challenges. The worldviews and actions are different. The language can get a little salty at times, the politics can get a little heated, but there is a huge advantage in the fact that we can be witnesses to the other volunteers as we serve.

Living a Missional Lifestyle by Refocusing

How can I refocus my life to have a missional lifestyle and take up my cross to follow Jesus daily?

Volunteering as a Missional Lifestyle

Let me begin by saying since I retired from my career in public relations and teaching public relations, I have coined the job title professional volunteer. A friend of mine calls me a schizophrenic missionary because I’m always going in so many different directions. For example, I love volunteering with WMU because it offers many opportunities to serve in various missions-related activities, from short-term missions trips to leading missions education at the local church. Additionally, I have a very missions-focused church. At our recent missions fair, we had more than 40 missions/ministry organizations participate because each had a personal connection to our church body. And yes, I wanted to be involved with every one of them.

But, alas, to be intentional about serving Christ with my best, I need to focus on the cross I am to carry daily. Or maybe just refocus. What missional lifestyle has Christ called me to live? Where can He use my gifts and talents best?

The Value of Building Relationships

“We have a front row seat to see people experience forgiveness and freedom. We’ve seen marriages restored, relationships mended, and people discovering their purpose in Jesus. There is absolute joy in this!” Sterling Edwards said of being a church planter.

He and wife Jenna have been church planters in New York for 10 years. When the Edwards first moved from Houston, Texas, to Long Island, they connected with the first people they met: post office employees, a restaurant owner, and a man at the golf course. These people became the first attendees of their church, Crossroads Church of Long Island in North Babylon. As time passed, people introduced them to other people and their circle of friends widened. And their church’s membership grew. The church currently meets in 4 locations each weekend.

The Edwards still make developing relationships a priority, because growing churches is not about watching a structure go up—it’s about the day-to-day development of relationships with people.

Missionary Spotlight Update: Josh and Christine Andrews*

“Pray that Christians in America will continually lift up their Christian brothers and sisters in Syria in prayer,” Christian worker Christine Andrews asked.

As war in Syria continues, many Syrians are starving and in desperate need of relief. The United Nations has increased its efforts to deliver food and medicine to the Syrian people. The physical and spiritual needs are many. Pray for Andrews; her husband, Josh; and their 4 children as they work to meet these needs.

Pray also for them as they continue to study the very difficult Arabic language. “Since we want to learn Arabic so that we can share truth with the lost around us, we must spend many hours in school studying the language and then must spend many hours practicing the language out of school. All the while, we are busy parents with active kids and a calendar full of activities related to our children as well as business to take care of and housework to do. Sometimes, it is very difficult to make time for all of the studying we must do to succeed in this goal,” Christine Andrews shared. Pray for her and her husband to learn the language and be able to communicate God’s love to the Syrian people.

All Talk?

Often we concentrate on missions in foreign lands, losing focus of needs lurking close by. I was shocked to learn that an area of our city was the most food-deprived in our state. Although our thriving congregation contributed during holidays, we could do more.

Learn-Serve-Fun Days

Kindergarteners through sixth-graders at our church engage in unique missions during their SON Kids summer program. Three areas of activities are involved.

On Learn Day, the youngsters are taught basic skills of using hammers, rakes, garden tools, scissors, needles, and thread. These new abilities will be implemented in the next phase of SON Kids.

Pages

Back to Top