Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Servant

Many people e-mail me before they come down on their missions trip wondering how they can help. How they can serve. What they can bring to the table or do down here to make a difference. We've all been gifted in different ways. God has given each of us many talents, skills, abilities, and giftings. One of my favorite parts of having teams here is seeing how God uses what He has planted in your hearts and harvesting for His glory while you are here serving in another country. It is always surprising to people that God usually uses what they're passionate about to bless this community in unusual ways.

For example, on the New Life team, there was a guy, Patrick, who loves to paint. With the help of his team, he was able to paint a mural in the Rotonda. The people in that area LOVE the mural! Just seeing it makes them happy, as well as full of a new sense of pride and ownership, for their part of the neighborhood. It makes the whole area seem more full of life and hope. I have had no less than 5 people approach me in the last week asking me for murals on their house walls, too.

On that same team there was a kindergarten teacher, Krista, and one of my favorite people in the world, Cindy Schmidt. They decided to plan a vacation Bible school for the kids. They talked with me about themes and decided on the armor of God. They brought down craft materials related to the theme and had a blast teaching the kids about being in the army of the Lord. We made up silly little songs and had a great time teaching the kids about Jesus.

Even the moms enjoyed learning about the theme!!

The New Life team also included a couple who enjoy teaching couples about having and creating a strong, Biblical marriage. Josh and Cindy Boggs planned a 2 day conference for couples, teaching them how to keep the romance alive and be even more united as a couple. They taught the basic principles, and then hosted a romantic, candle-lit dinner to top it off. The rest of the team blessed them by hosting the child care.

The last team, Grand Rapids, also brought a variety of gifts and talents. Stephanie (MISS YOU, girl!!) is a hairdresser in the states. She works at a spa and is talented in making women feel pampered and special. She brought these skills down here and really touched a lot of people. By cutting hair, she gave women and opportunity to feel better about themselves and feel special, like they really matter to some one. She spent most of the trip cutting off excess hair, and more importantly cutting off lies that these women believe about themselves (that they're not good enough, that no one cares about them, that they're not loved or cherished or valued). And let me tell you, she used her gift in unique ways! She cut hair in houses, in alley ways, in the streets, and even in a bed! (There was a lovely elderly woman who had ulcerated legs from diabetes who couldn't leave her bed. It didn't matter! Stephanie just cut her hair where she was!!) It really is a testimony that God can use our gifts in unique and creative ways when we're willing to listen to the Holy Spirit.

Age also doesn't matter. Kelsey and Claire had a great time just connecting with the kids. They were role models to the girls and teens about what it means to serve, no matter what your age or language!

1 Timothy 4:12 says: Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

The girls really lived that example this week, just by being themselves! Just by being young and full of life and freedom in Christ! When we went our our free day, for a day of adventure in the mountains, we took 3 teenage girls with us, Abigail, Tutis, and Cherry. They really looked to Kelsey and Claire as their leaders. The girls literally wouldn't do anything unless Claire and Kelsey did it first. On the zipline, they all told me they wanted Claire to go first, because if she could do it they could do it. Claire gave them the courage and boldness to know that anything is possible!! Woot woot!!

Even if you don't speak Spanish, just spending time with these people makes more of an impact than money or "stuff". The guys really enjoy game nights and hanging out with team members. Getting to know them by name and hearing their stories teaches them that they are valued and matter. Spending time in Bible studies and small groups shows them that they mean something. That their lives matter.

No matter what your gifts and talents are, they can be used creatively in the kingdom of God. He has given you those abilities for a reason. They may be used in ways that would surprise you, but are a blessing both to the people of Los Anonos and to you as well.


  1. Oh, thank you, thank you, for this encouragement. Came over from FIMBY and am so glad I did. There can be so much pressure in life - in christian life - to conform and we can struggle so long and hard with self-acceptance. Just learning to Be who God made us to be and use our gifts/passions in service to our King (by serving people).

  2. Oh what a great post!!! I also popped over from Fimby... doors opened for our family to go on a mission trip with our family last year - we have small children and a big family and quite a few folk suggested that we would be more of a burden than a blessing to the local community. Well lets just say our anxiety about going and how we could possibly be of any use vaporized and within hours of arriving we were absorbed into the community... My kids have never played so hard and I have never held so many little hands in all my life, we worked hard!!! And we were blessed beyond all measure as a family and we are all excited about heading out on more trips in the future. Honestly ignore all those little voices that say you have nothing to offer and go. We didn't wait till our kids were old enough or until it was a "good time" to go... if you have the chance go!!! Here's a post I wrote on taking our family on a mission trip: http://www.se7en.org.za/2011/10/19/sunday-snippet-why-take-your-family-on-a-mission-trip

    1. Wow! What an amazing experience your kids have been able to have! I really enjoyed reading about it! Thank you for sharing your heart for the nations.

  3. Thank you so much for your comments! I really appreciate them! I have definitely been enjoying my time here and love sharing my experiences. If it inspires just one other person to go on the mission field or step out of their comfort zone for Christ it is worth it!!