My daughters took a recent domestic mission trip to Minneapolis. Each day, our church youth pastor posted pictures for us to see what the team was doing.
One day, the team helped clean and organize football equipment. I knew the trip involved volunteering at a rescue mission and helping with a vacation Bible school, among other things, but as I viewed that day’s photos, I thought, “Hey, I do mission work like that.”
This struck me because I wrestled with whether anything I spend so much time doing makes much difference to anyone, let alone to God. I had prayed earlier that particular day for the Lord to show me a sign about the value of my contributions. Of course, I didn’t realize this response until later. (I hate to admit to being so slow to realize an answer to a specific question.)
Examples of mission work at home
I bet you do domestic mission work without realizing it too. Volunteering at church for VBS or other outreaches is one we might take for granted. Volunteering at the hospital or school or even picking up trash along the road counts as service. Taking food to someone grieving or recovering from an illness or surgery is another. Sending a sympathy card or thinking of you note could count. Taking someone to the hospital and staying with them and caring for them afterward is another. Taking 3 ½ hours from your plans to travel, pick up, and sort a whole processed beef cow is one I did recently, though I might say, while I was willing to help, I grieved over loss of a personal agenda that day. Cleaning and washing windows for people, helping people to move or landscape, or even just visiting someone at a hospital, nursing home, or residence show God’s love.
Small acts of kindness might count. I picked up a neighbor’s tipped garbage can before the trucks came so that it would be picked up and shut another’s mailbox that hung open to the elements. That might not be true missionary work, but I offered a helping hand to people who didn’t know it was needed. My family provided secret helping acts in the past like weeding someone’s overgrown garden. Someone anonymous plowed our snowy driveway a few times, which was a huge blessing. We’ve returned wandering dogs, prayed for people, secured car seats, given hugs, offered help to someone in distress . . . thoughtful tasks we just do in our everyday living.
Mission work equals serving others
So, I guess I participate in spreading love and blessings just by thinking of others and helping when and where needed. Maybe each of us is contributing something after all, even when we don’t leave our own community. Domestic missions and foreign missions boil down to helping others in need. Sometimes this means building homes, handing out Bibles, providing food—even catching fish by hand, lending a vehicle or repairing one. The list continues on!
Maybe Jesus shines in us. Maybe others see Him through us despite our struggles, failures, weaknesses, and tears. Being God’s hands and feet, after all, includes kindness and love, whether a small act or huge undertaking.
What type of “mission” work have you participated in this week or month?
You may enjoy this related blog: https://www.michellekaderlywelsh.com/mission-work-can-start-at-home/.