Last week, we hosted a missions team from Parkland Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, who came to our area to engage in Kingdom work throughout our association. Around 70 people made the trip, most of whom were middle school and high school youth. They began working almost immediately: after unloading the truck that contained all of their luggage, supplies, and tools, one team headed out into some of our rougher neighborhoods to invite kids to a VBS they would be leading at Higher Ground Baptist Church (one of our sister churches). And that was just one VBS; they led several others for churches throughout our association.
Leading a VBS was not the only thing this group did while they were in our area last week, however. They also were engaged in various evangelistic efforts, they canvassed neighborhoods, they served the homeless, they served the elderly at some assisted living homes, and they worked on various construction and improvement projects. Community Baptist Church in Hastings had its exterior stripped and repainted, including its bell tower. The work that was being done on that church created quite a bit of buzz in the community, which we pray will lead to many coming to see how the revitalized exterior only houses something infinitely greater on the interior: the Good News of Jesus Christ. Higher Ground Baptist had a kitchen built and supplied by the team; Victory Baptist had a retaining wall made out of old timbers replaced with beautiful stone; Calvary Baptist had a leaking roof repaired; and we were blessed by having a new nursery playground installed. Needless to say, there was a tremendous amount of work completed!
Despite the long days, heat, and tiring work, the team never complained; rather, they continued to praise God for the opportunity they had to be here with us and serve Him. They were very thankful for the breakfast we served them on Sunday morning, as well as the dinner on Tuesday evening (along with the worship concert led by our brothers at ONElife Church in Flint, one of our church plants here in Michigan). They were thankful for how we allowed them to use our facilities here. What’s more, they have invited our youth to join them next year when they go out on their 2019 mission trip! What a great chance for our young people to have the opportunity to serve in such a capacity with a team that is as experienced as our brothers and sisters at Parkland.
I am thankful for this church’s commitment to missions, whether in terms of financial support, going into the field themselves, or supporting teams that come to our area. We have seen a greater emphasis and involvement in missions over the past few years, and while that is to be celebrated, we must not grow complacent. There remains much to be done in the mission field, and the Lord of the Harvest is calling for willing workers. How will you join Him in the fields? Just something to think about…