Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:4
Several years ago I went to Jamaica to help some of our churches there set up a women’s ministry. Since the Jamaican women that we were to meet work during the day, all of our ministry took place in the evenings. This left us free time during the day and we were asked to go along with the eye clinic team to help them get the week started.
Specifically we were asked to mingle among the people who were waiting to see the eye doctors and to witness to them. This sent a wave of sheer fear through the heart of this introvert.
What? Isn’t that what you are supposed to do on a mission trip, witness to strangers?
Yes, but I pictured sitting in a small group of women talking about the Bible and/or witnessing through my actions of getting people water and serving them in that way.
Telling strangers about Jesus just sounded so scary.
Through God’s amazing grace, what happened that morning has forever put my heart at peace and shown me that I never have to fear a situation like that one again.
We all instinctively settled into our comfort zones. I greeted people and made “small talk” as I helped them fill out their information cards. Another woman took their blood pressure and asked them “Do you have anything you want me to pray about” and then she would pray with them.
From there they would move to another lady who would put in eye drops and take their eye pressure all the while talking with them and making them laugh. Still another woman gave them a warm and friendly smile and more conversation as she ushered them into the building.
Once inside the church they had one more cue they had to sit through before they actually saw the doctors. Here they would hear the plan of salvation laid out beautifully for them.
WE had not planned this, but God had.
At the end of the day I told my friend how impressed I was that she could just lay out the plan of salvation so effortlessly to strangers like that. I told her that I feel like I can’t do that, I never know what to say even though I know the plan.
She must have heard the self-condemnation and disappointment in my voice. I felt like I had somehow failed to “witness” to those people. And then she said
Kathy, you don’t understand, I am not good at what you did. I am not comfortable at all with greeting strangers, making small talk, asking people questions about themselves.
And right then, together we both realized what had taken place. God had put together a team of people that on their own could only do so much, but when put together they created one JESUS for the people we met that day.
Romans 12:4 came alive for me that day and I have a similar story for every trip I’ve been on. In fact this is now one of my favorite parts of the trip; discovering who God picked for this team and how will it play out.
God IS the coach and captain of the team and EVERY person has a part to play, not just on mission trips but in our everyday lives as well.
You can’t assume what your part is, you must pray and ask God to lead you. Because playing someone else’s part will be unfruitful and will lead to frustration. But God has picked the perfect part for you and when you play THAT part you will feel ten feet tall and want to stand on the highest mountain and shout His praise.
He has a part for you! Whether it is to go on a mission trip or to support and send someone else on a trip or to pray for those whom He has called to go. He has a part for everyone.
What part has He picked for YOU to play?
Write in and share with us. You may be just the inspiration someone else needs to give them the courage to play their part.
For more stories about missionaries read “Missionary Stories with the Millers” by Mildred A. Martin. If you feel like God is asking you to go on a short term mission trip then you should GO.
There is no better place to be than in the center of God’s Will.
Ask your church leadership if they have a trip coming up or if they know of a church in your area which go on trips yearly. You can visit http://pinedale.org/short-term-missions to read about the trips our church will be taking this year.
Start praying about it today and God will lead you to just where He wants you to go.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing us! Thank You for knowing us so well and for equipping us for the job that You have called us to do. Grant us courage Lord to do that job with all our hearts and to bring glory to You in all that we do. Show us Lord, each and every day, which roles You have chosen for us to play and guide us in those roles. We glorify You in Jesus’ name. Amen.
© 2013 by Kathy Sweeny. All rights reserved.
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