Messiah is blessed to have embraced the idea of short-term mission trips with long-term relationships. Pastor Chuck had the vision for our congregation years ago: serve the world in ways that allow us to develop a lasting relationship with those we serve. Messiah has now engaged in missions with people in South Dakota, Guatemala, Poland and Uganda for several years. Listen to the stories of the team members who go and you will hear it. Relationships are being developed and strengthened with every trip we make to these places.
Locally, we have formed relationships with people we serve and those we serve alongside at the OASIS Food Pantry and at Our Lady’s Inn.
But what if you aren’t the type to go on a mission trip? What if you don’t feel that call to pack your bags and spend one or two weeks somewhere other than home? What if you don’t feel compelled or even have the ability to work at a food pantry? That’s OK! You are part of the vision for missions at Messiah too!
We talk a lot about “goers” and “senders” in the world of missions. Certainly we need to people to go and to be the hands and feet of Jesus in other places. We will always be looking for people to physically engage with those we serve. But there are a lot of people in our congregation who help create the foundation for this type of work. And for you, we are thankful!
There are many ways to be a sender. As teams start to form for summer mission trips, often times we see people who feel called to go but don’t have the resources available to pay for the trip. There aren’t many luxuries found on mission trips, but the costs can be high. Many times, airfare can make up over two-thirds of the total cost of a trip. If you have the opportunity to support someone financially in this situation, do it! Be a part of the mission by allowing someone else to answer the call.
There are always numerous supplies that are needed for mission teams as well. Over the years, Messiah families have provided t-shirts, beach balls, art supplies, candy and much more to support the work of our teams. Watch for details about the wish list of items for this summer’s mission projects.
Messiah has established local partnerships with Our Lady’s Inn and OASIS Food Pantry. Both allow us many opportunities to support their efforts. At Christmas, we collected thousands of diapers for the new babies at Our Lady’s Inn. Periodically we collect items to support the work of OASIS as they seek to serve families in St. Charles County. Our Confirmation classes recently collected over 900 bottles of shampoo for OASIS! When you help with these projects, you are actively a part of missions at Messiah!
As we look to grow our efforts to serve, watch for more opportunities to team up with Messiah. Be a goer. Be a sender. Either way, you are answering the call to serve. Powerful things happen when God’s people come together!
“I am going down into the pit; you hold the ropes,” said William Carey, a pioneer missionary. “They that hold the ropes, and the daring miner that swings away down in the darkness, are one in work, may be one in the motive, and, if they are, shall be one in the reward.”
Julie Stroder is Messiah’s Missions Coordinator and also the Missions Coordinator at Hearts & Hope for Uganda. She writes about missional living on Messiah’s blog.