I thrive on mission work. Several years ago I read a book called, A Hole in the Gospel, by Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision. A quote from that book has stuck with me. When the author was asked why he did mission work, he answered, "I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and I am commanded to love my neighbor as myself. I am here to show God's love in the world." That is why I am drawn to mission work. I, too, want to share God's love in the World. I want God to use me to answer prayer. Every time I have volunteered my time for mission, I have been changed. My heart becomes softer, and I realize how much I have in common with the people I serve.
This year for our annual mission work, teams from our church created gardens, cooked and served meals, as well as sorted, chopped, packaged, and stored produce, at homeless shelters in Toledo. I am so thankful that Pastor Karen puts these opportunities in place for us and that I worship in a place that understands the need to share God's love beyond our four walls. Working with others from my church allowed me to forge new friendships with people I didn't know well before. We had so much fun!
Every day we worked in teams and that was so important to the amount of work we were able to accomplish. Each of us has unique strengths and all were used at some point. While some lifted 200 lb. railroad ties, others weeded, edged, and planted gardens. While some chopped onions, others filled containers of macaroni and cheese. While some served meals, others talked with the homeless. If this work sounds interesting to you, that is God nudging you to give it a try. Join us next year, or at the food pantry, or at our tutoring program. You have a talent we can use!
This year our church went out beyond our four walls to serve the homeless. We were also sharing God's love with others and hopefully touching their hearts.