AS THE FATHER HAS SENT ME, I am sending you” (John 20:21).
I’ve always thought of this verse as a commission to be an overseas missionary—maybe to the Amazon jungle, an African desert, or some small island. Many people I know have gone on mission trips and served overseas, but I have never been impressed “to go.” My focus has been on ministry at my home church and doing what I like to call “caring ministry.”
Last summer I felt the “call” to be a missionary in my own country! As churches started opening up after the pandemic, the church I often attend during the summer in another state began having Sabbath School again. Only three to four children attend, plus sometimes a visitor. Noticing that nothing was being done for the children, I went to the children’s room to see what was available to do an impromptu program. Unfortunately, things were not organized for this to happen. It broke my heart that nothing was planned for these precious children to learn about Jesus. It’s a very, very small church, and the members are stretched with many responsibilities. No one was available to do anything.
The next day I, along with my mom, aunt, and cousin, offered to go to the church to straighten things up and decorate the room. Over the next couple weeks, we gathered props and music and put together a program. My home church graciously allowed us to borrow some props to use in the program.
With the help and generosity of others, my family and I worked together to put pictures on the wall, hang decorations from the ceiling, and make the room inviting. During my vacation, I was able to make final touches to the program and prepare crafts.
What a joy it was to see the children’s faces as they came in and saw the bright improvements to the room. They noticed flowers that had been added and clouds hanging from the ceiling. When they walked into church the next week, it was with smiles on their faces and anticipation about having their own program to attend. The children participated in the program, learning Bible stories and doing crafts. After a couple weeks they were already answering questions about what they had learned.
You may not be able to go overseas as a missionary, but you can share God’s love right where you are. Whether it be making food for someone who is sick, keeping in touch with the elderly, babysitting for a young mom, or helping in a children’s division, you can use your gifts to show God’s love.
Jesus has a mission field for each one of us, and it may be in your own church or community!