Be Inspired. Be Honest. Be You.

SMC Women's Ministry

Be inspired. Be honest. Be You.

Posts in Serving Opportunities
Living On Mission

1 I have always been in amazement of the way the Lord came to this earth, humbled Himself and served His people. This idea has really made me into the person I am by pushing me to ask myself what really matters in this world. It is so easy to get caught up in all the “stuff” and even easier to pass up opportunities to serve God’s kingdom. Even in small ways. And that’s what I wanted to talk about today.

In July (the 12th-19th), I spent a week on a mission trip in Robeson County building wheelchair ramps with First United Methodist- Graham. I was really excited to go- but if I’m being honest with myself and you, I wanted to do more. I wanted to go out of the country and have this life-changing opportunity to serve God and His people. I was so blinded by this desire, that initially I was kind of disappointed. Then God worked His magic on my heart and got me to see the big picture; His picture.

After a week of building wheelchair ramps and seeing the reactions of the people receiving them, that is when the heart change happened. I was right where God wanted me to be. I went into this mission trip thinking I was just building ramps, and left it knowing that building ramps is more than that. It’s a ministry. The work we did allowed people to leave their house for the first time in a while, brought family back together, and improved their overall quality of life. And I realized- I take all of those things for granted in my own life. It’s the little things that we need to be grateful for. And this can only be realized in its purest sense through the reality of God and gratitude for all He has given us.

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When the week was up, we all went home. Sad it was over but so grateful for the experiences we shared. This is typically when mission trips end, but not for us. And that’s just the way God works. In amazing and unbelievable ways. Nearly a month later, on August 8th, there was a need in Mebane for a wheelchair ramp that was expressed and we jumped on the opportunity. This is the timing and working of God and I truly believe that without Him, nothing would have fallen into place as perfectly as it did on that day.

So on that Saturday we met at that house in Mebane, early in the morning, still rubbing our eyes, and we built a ramp. We worked hard knowing that it had to be finished that day. And when we laid the last stone, we all looked at each other knowing we had just been working in the presence of God. When it was finished, the lady we had built it for was able to be released from the hospital after a month of not being able to come home. She cried, we cried, we prayed together and hugged and rejoiced! Because God is so good.

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And there I was, in my hometown, 7 minutes from my own house. And I had just had one of the most rewarding mission experiences of my life. I love when God gets in my face and proves me wrong. I could feel Him saying in that moment, “Told you so.” I didn’t need to go far away at all. I just need to make my love for God stretch further than it had ever stretched before.

Sarah

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Imagine

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humbling

family

intentional

glorious

refreshing

heart-changing

incredible

life-changing

fantastic

amazing

rejuvenating

inspiring

eye-opening

fun

guiding

So many different thoughts about the same experience.  If you’ve ever been on a mission trip you know how challenging it is to return home and attempt to explain what happened there.  Unlike Vegas, what happens on a mission trip is meant to be shared.

The list of words above were mentioned during the week of our mission trip to Monterrey, Mexico with Back2Back Ministries.  Twenty-four students and adults took a leap of faith traveling to a foreign country not really knowing what they would be doing or eating and all without hairdryers and cell phones.  They relinquished control of their day-to-day activities for a week to not just a ministry organization, but to a God who always has much bigger and better plans for each of us.

Imagine standing in the back of a church not understanding a word being said or sung and having someone lay hands on you in prayer.  At the same time you’re being pulled into a throbbing connection with Christ’s presence.  Those two hours in Spanish worship may not have been understand, but they were felt.

No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12 ESV

Imagine painting an outside wall in 95+ degree weather while singing your heart out.  Or mixing and pouring concrete for sidewalks that will last longer than us.  How about pulling nails out of wooden planks, sweeping a dusty new church building and creating a ramp entrance allowing services to be held a few days later for the first time?

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.     Philippians 2:14-15 ESV

Imagine being sprayed by a water bottle by a child who desires connections with others.  Take a dozen bikes to the park with about five of them fully functioning yet watching children persevere through the trials of broken bikes.  Push a child on the swing, make bracelets, create Lego empires, sing songs, give endless hugs.  Be Christ to the orphans.

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.      James 1:27 NLT

A small, simple sampling of God at work in us, through us and for us in Mexico. No one remains the same after that week; a week where words are inadequate for expressing and hearts are filled to overflowing.  Grab a student or leader, they would love to share what God was up to in Monterrey.

 

Shea

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It's A Beautiful Desire

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Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.  1 Thessalonians 2:8 

This is why we volunteer, out of our desire to share not only Christ, but our lives and our love. Having the privilege of working with our student ministry at SMC has allowed me to work with the finest volunteers in the world.  As we’ve just wrapped up a successful season of Uprising we’ve been meeting with our volunteers to get some feedback about their year of service.  It never fails to hear this from many mouths: “I thought I was doing this to help them, but they’ve helped me so much.”  It’s a beautiful case of God at work.  I see it time and time again with our volunteers and our mission trip participants.  We sign up for a cause because we feel a gentle nudging from God or a friend tells us it would be a great idea or we have some spare time on our hands (if that’s you, call me now).  We boldly step into our arenas of service thinking we have so much to give to someone.  Our small group leaders jump into uncharted waters of middle school hormones feeling like they will make a difference in every life they encounter.  We get on planes or survive hours in the luxury church van to help those with less than us.  We do these things answering a call to serve.  But what happens, because God is always at work, is we are served.

We are served love, grace, mercy, understanding, awareness and so much more.  We discover that having less doesn’t mean being less.  It often means having more--more faith, more laughs, more togetherness.  We discover that under those hormones and tears there’s an amazing soul trying to find it’s way out.  We volunteer over and over again hoping to make a dent in someone else’s world when every time our own worlds are filled.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.    Colossians 3:23-24 

Sign up to serve somewhere doing something for Him today. If you’ve never volunteered before expect to be blown away by being used by God.  If you haven’t volunteered in a while, find your niche and experience God.  If you volunteer more time than you sleep, keep at it for your reward is eternal (I believe we will get all the rest we need there).  Volunteer for whatever reason jumps out at you, but know that God is going to jump out at you with more fervor than you can serve.

 

Shea

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