Women on Mission Blog

Growing Friendship

Deborah and her husband, Rob, walked around suitcases and boxes crowding their living room floor. They were days from a trip they had planned for months. The kitchen phone rang, interrupting Deborah’s packing.

“Hello?” she answered.

Deborah listened in dismay as a dear friend, Sarah*, shared about a family crisis that suddenly rose up and overwhelmed her.

“I know you and Rob are supposed to leave this weekend, but can you help?” Sarah pleaded. “Please. I have no one else to ask.”

Deborah didn’t even hesitate to assuage Sarah’s concerns; of course, she and Rob would help. Deborah hung up and began making the necessary calls to reschedule their impending trip.

“You can have 100,000 friends on Facebook, but they aren’t your friends,” Deborah says. “They won’t be there for you when you need them.”

Rob and Deborah Brown have made it their life’s quest to form deep bonds with others—the kinds that are sacrificial and mature.

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).

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?

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.

Don’t Go There!

“I shouldn’t have done it. I knew better. Once I got started, I couldn’t stop.”

My remorseful friend stood before me with head down. I reassured her that I understood. We all travel damaging paths sometime. But hers was a craving that could end her life, and she knew it. Determination was on her side though, as she resolved to “get it together.”

Rice for Christmas

Mrs. Susan captivated the VBS children with the huge Christmas package. But they were crestfallen when the contents were revealed. Rice, dried beans, flour?

Having made innumerable medical mission trips and also dispensing staple food items to families, Mrs. Susan explained that children in other countries are elated when they receive a bag of rice. Whereas, “unfortunately we all have so much that we are ungrateful.”

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