Serving the Forgotten
– Damaris Barrios
This week in DTS, we learned about missions and God’s heart for reaching all the nations. It was a very interesting topic to learn about, mostly because I do have a heart for missions and just thinking about how to best express that passion is something that I struggle with.
Mark Baxter taught us about people who have never heard the Gospel, the unreached of Asia and Africa. They are forgotten by most of Christianity. He taught us how to be intentional in evangelizing and in encouraging our friends and family to share God’s love. Initially, I didn’t really know how to evangelize in a way that is simple. Mark gave us practical tools to do that. I’ve always been bold and had a heart to talk to people, but I haven’t really had direction. I had realized my calling was to be a missionary, but now I understand how I can use my boldness and talk people for the glory of God.
So, what is the definition of missions? It is to carry out the Great Commission as stated in Matthew 28:18-20, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
On Friday, we put this into practice. We went to serve the least and the lost at a local ministry that helps those in need. It was humbling to serve those that most of the world has forgotten but Jesus has not. Often, in our fast paced lives, we ignore that there are people who aren’t keeping up.
The smells were a bit more than I could handle at first. I had to remind myself that people are not to be identified by any of their faults, but who Jesus says they are. As I overcame my first impressions, I realized that the people seeking these services were nicer than how the media portrays them. I was hit really hard in the gut, when I recognized that Jesus loves them too. We don’t realize that there are people who go through hard circumstances in life and that the way they cope just looks different from how we cope.
I was awed by the leader of the UGM team. She has such a heart for the people that use these services because she once needed them as well. But God got a hold of her and she was radically changed by Jesus. It reminded me that God doesn’t forget about us, He loves us. Our part in belonging to the Body of Christ is that we get to be the hands and feet to show that love.
We were able to shine the light of Christ with those that much of society has abandoned. They were the nicest people that I have interacted with. It reminded me that we all need to be shown grace and love. Jesus showed compassion to those in need. Being able to mirror that on Friday was awesome!
We will be serving alongside Union Gospel Mission for the next seven weeks and I can’t wait to see in which ways we will be able to love people and make disciples of them!
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