Missionaries Sam and Brooke Orozco

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An Opening Hand: Welcoming Other Cultures

Meet a woman and her husband who are reaching out to a foreign family right in their own community.  Would you, too, ask God to open your eyes to the needs of those around you?

Until I learned about Brooke and Sam’s experience in Paraguay, I really hadn’t seriously thought of reaching out to people who are from a different country than I. Reading about Brooke and Sam’s loneliness and the frustrations they experienced during their years abroad opened my willingness to think about being a part of welcoming others into my culture, right here in my neighborhood. I could only minimally imagine what it would be like for me to try to assimilate into another culture. And I didn’t like what I imagined… difficult communication, different smells and sights and tastes, and the heaviness of isolation, to say the least.

So I began a relationship with the people who own the Nail Spa where I go for pedicures. They are Vietnamese and are among a very small number of “foreigners” in our upper Michigan lake-town.

After six months of trying to match our calendars for a dinner together, it finally happened!  They brought their homemade Egg Rolls, ribs, and rice. We had wine and salad.

Here’s what we learned:

They are lovely people who are just like us, as far as their needs go. They want to practice their English, they want to be active in their neighborhood, they want their 2 year old son to keep their family traditions, yet be assimilated into the American society as he grows, they want company, friends, someone they can call upon. They want to belong.

It wasn’t so hard. We all enjoyed the evening. The conversations were a bit limited and confusing at times, but it was fun and adventurous at the same time. We were all blessed.

We didn’t invite them to church with us yet. We are simply getting to know them and develop a friendship. God will work out the avenues where this will all take us, no doubt about it.

We lay this gift of hospitality at the foot of the cross, and wait with expectation!

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A Bible Club in a Public School

Meet a teacher who began a Bible Club in a public school 6 years ago.  She mentors 15-20 girls from 4th-6th grade every week.  How can you serve the next generation where you live?

“Bible Hang Time” is an afternoon club, which meets every Monday after school for an hour, in the school where I am a 4th grade teacher. Approximately 15-20 girls from grades 4-6 attend each week after school.

We start each club meeting with an opportunity to share about the week. This gives the girls a chance to talk about what is on their minds and hearts.

Then we go into a short devotional time, which deals with issues that typical girls experience and we use God’s word to address those issues.

After the devotional we have a time of worship.  I play about 3 songs on my guitar and the girls sing. This is normally our favorite time together.

We end our last 10 minutes of the time together praying together. I start the prayer and the girls jump in and pray for their specific needs.  It is so cool to see the confidence that they are gaining in praying aloud.

Starting this week, I will be focusing on the message of Easter and the resurrection of Christ. This club started about 6 years ago when a friend took the lead and I was her co-leader. Now I lead it with occasional help from other teachers.

God has really blessed this program and there is even going to be a boys club starting at the school soon, as a result!  I am amazed that He has used me, an ordinary schoolteacher, to share His Good News with public school children.

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Send Me!

Meet a retired man from Chicago who travels on short-term mission trips with an organization called M.O.S.T. and recently returned from Nicaragua.  Is God calling you to do the same?

I would like to share with you my experiences as a short term missionary.

Since 2009, I have been traveling all over the world to serve people in Jesus’ Name.  After my first trip which was to China, I got hooked and I have been going on 2 or 3 trips a year since then. These excursions to foreign lands are for 7 to 15 days.  We travel in teams consisting of 7 to 20 people and our task varies depending on the purpose of the mission. 

I have done water projects (getting families sanitary water to drink), eyeglass projects (distributing prescription eyeglasses), Vacation Bible School programs and English as a second language classes.

Though we do this physical work which helps people better their lives, the real work occurs in the unseen world.  In fact, I have come to believe that the work we do is merely something God has given us to do in order to keep our hands busy WHILE HE DOES HIS WORK BEHIND and BEYOND what our eyes can see.

These trips are motivated by the last command of Jesus: All authority has been given to me, so GO…   Of course, you don’t have to go to foreign lands, to preach and teach the gospel of God.  There’s plenty to do right here at home and our land is becoming a ripe mission field. However, I have found that when you do go on trips to foreign lands, you tend to lean on the Lord all the more.

The benefits one derives from obeying the command of the Lord to go are BEYOND MEASURE:  What monetary price can you put on joy of service?  What price can you pay for knowledge and wisdom which God delivers to you because of your obedience to go? What price will you pay to gain new friends?  These are priceless and they come through Christ from God alone.

Sell your silver and gold and GO on a mission trip. Step out on faith for Christ’s sake and God, the Father, the source of all goodness will uphold you by the power of his love.

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