As I reflect on this past Sunday’s church service as we welcomed our youth back from their mission trip to Kansas and we prepared to send off another group to Puebla, I am so full of joy. It is so encouraging to watch people and families gearing up and preparing for mission trips overseas and across state lines. I love hearing the sweet stories upon their return of relationships built, seeds scattered and hearts softened and cultivated. Serving is such a pivotal act of worship for the believer.
We have heard it a million and one times that we are on mission right here in our hometown. But for some, myself included, it can be difficult at times to see ourselves “on mission” here. It is easy to envision a mission trip to a third world country. But something just happens here at home. It is almost like we kind of become numb to the needs around us. Please, do not misunderstand me. I am not trying to suggest that we are completely blind to the fact that there are needs all around us or that we are not doing anything at all. We just get fastened to our to-do lists and buckled in to the routine of life that we neglect keeping our minds mission focused.
I have one way you can be on mission right here. Two years ago my husband and I started a ministry called GROW (Gleaning from and Reaching Out to Widows). One goal of our ministry is getting the congregation involved, while working together with the Deacons to discuss ways to best serve these precious women. Below are some things we have done:
Assist with home moves
Air conditioner repairs
Service opportunities for the youth (yard work, window cleaning)
Group of young girls made cards and delivered baked items and prayed with the women
Valentine’s Day luncheon
One small statement had such a profound impact on me once after we visited one of the women. It was after the girls and I dropped off some cards and freshly baked bread. She was so happy to see all the sweet little girls, the life and laughter really had brightened her day. You could tell. We chatted for about fifteen minutes and had to head out. As we were leaving she cheerfully said while waving with a smile on her face, “Come back when you have more time. Goodbye.” That statement alone has echoed in my mind since that very day. You see, the ministry of TIME is so, so important.
In the fall, there will be some new ways for you to get involved! We will host game nights where you bring games from home, your family and a snack to share while we mingle and spend time getting to know these women and each other better. Our widow’s dinners will also begin. Once a month, we will meet at a local restaurant for dinner. We will be looking for other women who are interested in treating one of our widows to dinner and fellowship!
Isaiah 55:8 says, “God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.” Likewise when we serve there is so much more going on than what appears on the surface. A multi-faceted greater good is lying deep within each act of service. God is such a great multi-tasker! His plan is not only for those whom we are serving, but for ourselves as we serve - for our hearts to be encouraged and our faith to grow, for those who are onlookers, watching us serve with glad hearts as we overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. God is just so incredible, how vast are His thoughts!
It is my prayer that you would actively seek ways to serve where you are right now. You are on mission! Serving is at the very core of our Christian faith. Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
If you would like to get involved with the widows ministry, please contact myself or my husband, we would love to share how you can be blessed by being a blessing!