Missions as a family
Will you be going anywhere for Christmas? This question popped up among our friends two Christmases ago. When we told them our family was going to North Africa, we were met with incredulous questions such as “Where?” and the inevitable “Is it safe?”
With a church bombing that occurred within weeks of our planned departure in the place we were going to, our family had a tough decision to make. Should we proceed to volunteer at the OM Christmas Outreach programme that we had signed up for? This was not a leisure trip we could cancel on a whim – we were aiming to serve God and help others in need. By faith in God and trust in those who had gone before us, we decided to proceed. We were glad we did.
First, the programme far exceeded all our expectations. Our trip to an area known as the garbage city, was an eye-opener. For decades, people there have eked out a living by collecting and recycling rubbish. To witness a thriving community in challenging circumstances was inspiring, and to be able to contribute to their needs in whatever small way we could was a privilege. We also got to serve among Sudanese refugees, sharing the joy of Christmas through our gifts and a Christmas play performance. Certainly, it was more blessed to give than to receive.
Second, our spiritual lives were enriched by going for this trip. The local OM team was very experienced and we had much time for prayer, meditation and fellowship with one another. The other members of our mission group hailed from countries spanning the globe – from North and Central America, Europe, South Africa, Asia and Australia. The cultural exchange was immense during our stay.
Third, volunteering as a family multiplied the benefits. We considered this trip far better than an exotic overseas family vacation. While there, our teenage daughter, Mikaela, was challenged to profess her faith and accept Jesus into her heart. To see her learning responsibility and interacting with the locals of diverse backgrounds was so satisfying. The fun we had could be summed up by our daughter’s reluctance to leave in the end.
So was the trip safe? Yes, it was. You may say this was a God-inspired mission. And, according to Hudson Taylor, God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.