God planted missions and ministry in our family’s heart early on. From the time our children were 8-10 years old we planned and participated in a family mission trip each year. We ministered to others but found we were the ones blessed beyond measure. Our attitudes were quickly adjusted as we served those who were hurting or the least of these. We’ve done yard work for the elderly in Bryson City, NC, sorted and organized a clothing closet in Lynch, KY, street evangelism in OH and Charleston, SC, led worship in Venezuela, surveys and a car wash in Long Island, NY, construction in Birmingham, AL, flood clean up in Columbia, SC, sports camps in Atlanta, GA, taught English to refugees in Johannesburg, South Africa as well as to internationals right here at Lugoff First Baptist Church.
We not only participated in missions we also gave regularly to individual missionary’s financial support. As we received regular updates from them we prayed for requests and rejoiced with them in what God was doing. Even, as college students our kids participated in short term mission projects. Now, as adults, out on their own, they financially support individuals who are serving with mission organizations.
If you are new to missions and ministry, let me just start from the beginning. Why do missions? Well in Matthew 28:18-20 we’re commanded by Jesus to go make disciples of all nations. In Acts 1:8 we’re told to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the utter parts of the earth. Global missions is simply taking the gospel to the entire world. Easy, right? Well…not necessarily.
It takes time and sometimes money. For some, health conditions may limit you. The good news is that missions, even global missions, starts at home. Begin with prayer, asking God how He would have you to be involved and to open your eyes to opportunities all around you. Then look for individuals you can encourage and minister to. Participate in a local activity of an international ministry such as shoeboxes (Operation Christmas Child) through Samaritan’s Purse, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief now sending supplies to the Bahamas, a fundraising effort through the Kershaw Baptist Association for Cuba.
Our God is a personal God and He will show you where and how He wants you to be involved in missions. He will use local activities to draw your heart toward global missions, possibly allowing your path to cross with an international individual that is living locally or allowing you to meet a missionary who is currently home on furlough or raising support. As you hear their stories, God’s tugging on your heart will confirm what He wants you to do!
Here are a few resources to get you started:
Pray for Southern Baptist Missionaries daily. Click HERE for a link to the birthday calendar.
Support Hannah Rice, friend of Megan Cummings serving with Cru in the Middle East soon by clicking HERE.
Support Melanie Helms, friend of Courtney Amerson serving with The Navigators in Tokyo, Japan by clicking HERE.
May God bless you as you seek to pray for, give to and do missions!