We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for sharing.
One of the things that I appreciate most about the church my husband and I call home is our pastor’s heart. He often encourages our congregation to reach out to the people in our community through various channels. Participating in these assorted activities together has a double-duty effect. Our church family has the opportunity to make new friends and strengthen bonds with the old ones in addition to connecting with our neighbors through these outreaches.
It was 73° and overcast on the Sunday afternoon our little team of three formed in the church basement. We shared some sandwiches and sides before we “hit the trail” for our gospel-sharing adventure.
We had gathered the previous weekend for lunch, training, and prayer in preparation for our adventure. The room was packed, and there was excitement in the air! Many churchgoers were interested and wanted to know more about the ministry opportunity we were going to embark on.
The room wasn’t packed on the day we were actually heading out on the adventure. I didn’t say it out loud, but in my head, I was wondering where the rest of the people were. I was happy when someone a little bolder than myself raised the question. Our pastor quickly responded and said that the reduction in size from the week before was exactly what he had expected. It was just a matter of fact to him. He had a smile on his face and excitement in his voice as he spoke it.
I will confess that for a brief moment I wondered why I had to chosen to do it. Joy and excitement were not the overarching emotions I was experiencing. I was a bit afraid. A thought came to mind: I could have stayed home and written beautiful cards and sent them out into the world with the Truly Loved booklet tucked inside instead. Oh love!
But I was there now, and I didn’t want fear to get the best of me. I reminded myself that there are 365 “Fear Not” phrases laced throughout the Scriptures. One for every single day of the year. So this was one of the days of the year where the command needed to be applied. Come, Holy Spirit, I need You! I thought.
My two beautiful friends who agreed to partner with me, and with Ruby Buckle, to take the gospel out into the world in a bigger way are named Amy and Veronica. Amy is the one who invited me to join a prayer group, and Veronica is the one I invited to join my life group. As our life group disbanded for the night only days before the outreach, Veronica and I talked about seeing each other at the Sunday outreach. We hoped out loud to get on the same team.
Veronica's absence from the luncheon that day had me wondering if she had decided to go on a Sunday drive across the countryside with her husband instead in search of some charming little lunch spot along the way. I checked my phone to see if she had sent me a message informing me of a change of plans. Nothing.
A minute or two later, Amy came into the fellowship hall and sat down across from me at the lunch table. I always love seeing her, but her presence there that day was extra sweet. She is a trusted companion on the journey of faith. As the meal ended and team formation began, our eyes met and acknowledged that we should go together. The pairings were happening two by two. I made a quick dash for the ladies' room before we prepared to jump into vehicles to go.
In those brief few minutes of shuffling about, Veronica appeared. Yay! “Let’s all go together!” we quickly decided. The three of us climbed into the back of an extended-cab pickup and headed out on the mission, into the field.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Matthew 9:37–37 NIV