Last week, I spent about 5 hours a day at various mission sights in South Carolina for 4 days. I was on a church trip that allowed me to choose to minister to children during the day and then return to the camp at night for worship and fellowship. Every day I went to a different site to play with kids and hopefully be able to share the gospel with them and every day I was met by the exact same types of kids. These kids were growing up in impoverished apartment complexes. They were being shuttled between mom and dad's house because they just weren't really a priority to their parents. They were poor, smelly, lacked manners, and were extremely hostile to each other. These kids were so lost I was astounded.
I was met by different cases over the 4 days I was on site. I witnessed children screaming at each other disrespectfully because they honestly had never been talked to differently than that way at home. They were always disrespected so they knew no better. I witnessed extreme racism towards white children in heavily african-american communities-a racism we as Americans don't really expect. I witnessed hispanic children tell me they had never heard the name Jesus Christ before in their lives. I was overcome by the need of Jesus in these kids lives and in their parents lives. Signs of broken hearts were shown to me all week. Parents would come check out what we were doing and would pour out their hearts about the divorce they're going through, etc. Children as young as 4 wrote notes about how they felt hated and as if they had no friends and were eternally sad. Shy kids who had too many walls up didn't even speak or play or laugh. I honestly could not believe the amount of need that had to be met.
It was one of the most life changing experiences of my life.
It was here that God showed me that no matter where you are living or what you are doing or what He is calling your heart to long for, you can and MUST be a missionary at all times. The person in front of you at the grocery store could be hurting and just a simple conversation could open the door to so much more. People in America, let alone the rest of the world, are longing for Christ, they just need someone to show them the way. Being intentional in people's lives and investing in them is so important and it's something we don't do because we're lazy and scared and we don't actually want to follow God's will unless it's something easy. News Flash:
God's will is and forever will be uncomfortable, active, and really REALLY hard.
The truth of the matter is that God called us to be missionaries wherever we are. If we believe that the Gospel is indeed the gospel and that Jesus died, took the wrath of God for our sins, and rose from the dead, we HAVE to tell people. Keeping this to yourself not only means that their souls won't get to be with Jesus, but that they have to go through the rest of this life without Jesus' strength and help and they will never, ever feel liberated no matter how hard they try or what they do. This task is spelled out in the bible and examples are given. We get too caught up in careers and money and family and the desires of this Earth and we forget that we are created by God, the Bible was and is real, and we are called to follow what it says. Your life and your Christian life are not 2 separate things. Its time that the Church realized this. I pray that you will take advantage of every missions opportunity available to you. I hope that you will pray that God gives you guidance and words when you minister to people. I hope that you will be bold in your faith as we are called to be and are able to take the first step.
Through this week, God put a strong passion for the Hispanic children in my heart. I currently feel a calling to learn Spanish and be involved in mission trips to Hispanic countries and Hispanic communities here in the US. It is a feeling I don't think I could describe with words and I am praying for the boldness to be able to fulfill my calling every day. I hope that you will join me in prayer for these people.