“I think our call to missions is to be lived out all day every day.”
What does being on mission mean?
God’s Command in Matthew 28:19 is for each of us, as believers, go to make disciples of all nations. Later in Acts 1:8, Jesus said, “ You shall receive the power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
I would like to share with you a little bit about how God has worked in Paul’s and my hearts to carry out this command Jesus gave to us. When we first married, we wondered what “missions” looked like for us. The word “missions” means an important assignment carried out for religious purposes. The assignment being “making disciples or believers” fits.
Does that assignment mean you have to go somewhere special to be on mission? While pondering all of this, a missionary friend of ours shared with us a very important thought. He told us that he thought believers are supposed to “be available” to God. Wherever we are, God can use us, and we should pray for God’s leading to open and close doors. We applied this to foreign missions but were told that our children were at difficult ages to go overseas. We continued to pray to be available and to walk through the doors God presented.
God has seemed to lead us into some short-term overseas mission trips, but has mostly led us to local missions—teaching children, leading Sunday School, teaching flock group, hosting internationals and folks with special needs and the poor right here in our community.
The Lord opened the door for international students through the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship International Program at North Carolina State University. We hosted dinner and Bible Study in our home for many years until the program got too big and moved to a church. God brought the nations to us! What a wonderful experience for our children. I remember one Friday night the girls came in with an excited voice informing me that there was a squid swimming around in seaweed in our kitchen sink! Come to find out—there was! The internationals were cooking the squid that night for the dinner. God was really growing me because I saw lots of mess and disorder in my kitchen. However, I think I was being trained up by God not to always have to have things perfectly in order.
That led to bigger steps of faith like being available to run for the Wake County Board of Education where I was able to serve the community, help develop the character education program, influence how the board members talked and worked together, serving parents and children.
Also, God was growing Paul and me both in our love of children. We had three wonderful daughters, and we all felt led to foster care. We kept quite a few children and then were called to take a newborn. Upon picking him up, seeing him, and seeing his special needs, our whole family felt differently about this child. He was special and a year later we started the adoption process. This was another door to walk through in faith.
The special needs our son had, led us to study and learn a great deal about others and their struggles. We have had the opportunity to meet many people and walk with them because of our son. God was in control when we had no idea what was happening. What blessings our whole family has had!
That too led me to Guardian Ad Litem work, representing foster children and their needs to the court when the children need an advocate.
I have had several critical illnesses that have opened the doors to visit with people in very difficult situations who are looking for a friend and for hope. What I saw as a bad thing, God used and gave me opportunity to show love and hope as He was working to heal me. He gets all the praise!
I think our call to missions is to be lived out all day every day. We could list many ways God calls and uses us when we are available and pray. Some days I think I do that well, and other days I think I am too distracted by the cares, worries, and wants of this world. I let God have the squid of being messy and out of order that could hold me back. I challenge you to do the same. Let’s pray together as we continue to learn, grow and walk “on mission together.” Pray for God to guide us and for us to be available! Praise the Lord, He is with us always.