In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
⁃Matthew 5:16 NRSV
I always wanted to be a missionary. Travel to far away places and help people. During a period of growth after surviving cancer I accepted God’s invitation to train to be a missionary. First to myself by recognizing my parched soul which felt like a faraway land needed help. I needed the unconditional love of God. By asking two important mission questions “What do you need?” And “How can I help” I have learned to help not only myself but my family, friends, church, coworkers and community. People around me that I looked up to invited me to get out of my comfort zone in many areas of my life. I was invited to be involved at church on the joint board and stewardship commission. A friend invited me to run for town Council and asked me work at the election polls. I said yes to these invitations to go out into the world not knowing what I have to offer except an open heart, open mind and willingness to learn. I went into these new situations with my mission questions “What do you need?” And “How can I help?”. Most recently, I am working in a factory among people from different backgrounds. Some people quit and new people start each week. It became obvious right away that I was one of few who attend church regularly. Most coworkers expected judgement from me and become defensive. Some even point out my flaws to prove that I am not any better then they are. I make sure they understand that I do not expect God to make me perfect. I needed God to weather the hard times. I meet people where they are without judgement or expectation of conversion. I invite them into dialog with the understanding that it is their choice to engage. It is practice for the day I get called to travel to a faraway places to help people know God’s unconditional love.
Michelle (Shel) Green, Frys Valley Moravian Church
The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.