From bored to blessed: On mission with God

When you have the title of missionary, it’s easy to think you’ve already given everything you can to God. I see this in myself a lot.

Apr 10, 2014

When you have the title of missionary, it’s easy to think you’ve already given everything you can to God. I see this in myself a lot. Often, when I’m considering giving more of my life, my possessions, my time, my pride (the list goes on) to God, I hear a voice that says, “Eh… You’ve already given your life to Him. You pray every day. You don’t have a paying job. Isn’t that enough?”

As I began my second year of missions last August, I could feel the slump beginning. My life had become routine. Instead of praying to a King who had commissioned me for a serious and all-consuming mission, I was reading words out of a prayer book, I was moping around to each item on my schedule and questioning its worth.

“Is this really what a Catholic-Christian missionary life looks like? Is this really what it feels like?” I thought.

January came around and I had the opportunity to go on a short-term mission trip to Mexico with a small foreign mission organization devoted to evangelization and service to the poor. It was during this trip that I received the inspiration I needed.

I had never seen the Gospel so vibrantly lived out! Every day… Even every meal started with songs of praise. Throughout the day, needy people knocked on the mission base door to seek help. Help for feeding their children. Help for paying their medical bills. Sometimes, just an ear to listen. The missionaries prayed with them and helped them in whatever way they could.

In the evenings, teams would head to the local towns and invite the people to pray. Testimonies were shared and intentions were offered. We laid hands on the people and prayed for their needs. We brought them blankets and food and most importantly, the love of Jesus Christ who comes out to meet them where they’re at.

“Praise the Lord!” and “Thank you, Jesus,” were heard from missionary mouths throughout the day and not only in the good times. Sufferings and struggles were shared with the community, prayed for and offered up to the Lord.

The Gospel had come to life! This missionary community closely modelled the first community of believers who were commissioned to share Christ’s love:

“[The community of believers] devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favour with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42-47).

I’ll be honest. By this mission trip, I was considering leaving my current position as a Life Teen missionary and joining a foreign mission organization. Especially after seeing it lived out, I was more inclined to live a life that seemed more fruitful and exciting.

I was blinded though. You see, it wasn’t my mission that was boring, it was me.

One day, in a time of quiet prayer towards the end of our mission week, the Lord spoke: “I’m calling you to bring the Gospel alive right where you are. Let this desire be a spark in your life as a missionary.”

I came back to Houston inspired to live a life of praise, thanksgiving, and service for Christ the King. All that I saw lived out in Mexico could be done right here in Houston!

The Houston mission team starts every day with worship. We set aside intentional times to give thanks for all God’s gifts and every Saturday we leave the house to serve the poor, rain or shine, plan or no plan.

I was inspired that week. I can only hope that my desire to live a life that displays the attractiveness of the Gospel will be an inspiration to others.

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