The Story this week opened with the church at Antioch worshipping, fasting, and praying. While they were doing this, they responded to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to set apart Barnabas and Paul and send them out to proclaim the word of God.
Right now Hope’s Mission Ministry team is inviting people to participate in summer mission trips. We are praying for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the process of sending. We are asking Him to prepare those He wants to go, and to help them make decisions about going.
Epaphroditus was sent from Philippi to Paul when he was a prisoner at Rome. He attended to Paul’s physical needs by bringing food and other necessities, and assisted Paul in his missionary work. Epaphroditus worked so hard that he became extremely ill, but God restored him to health. Paul sent him back to Philippi with his letter to the church there.
He provides a good model for short term mission work. He was sent to minister to Paul and partner with him in his work. His short term efforts bolstered the effectiveness of Paul’s ministry. He then returned to the congregation who had sent him, so Paul was also able to encourage the church at Philippi in their work.
Our service in Duluth/Superior, Crow Agency, or in a village in Rwanda may not be anything big in the grand scheme of things. A week, 10 days, or even a month is just a drop in the bucket. What can we do in such a short time?
We will be joining God at work there with Christians who are in these communities for the long haul and sometimes face set-backs and discouragement. A big part of what we can do is show up! We bring encouragement and do small things to come alongside them in their work. They also challenge us as we work with them to live out our faith when we return home.
Peggy Turnbull, Missions Coordinator