Your Mission Field Is Right Where You Are
Your mission field is right where you are. Guest blogger Amy Felix firmly believes that statement. She’s here with the story of how she discovered her mission field while raising kids with special needs and with ideas about how you can find yours.
When I went on my first mission trip to Haiti, I never thought I fell in love with serving overseas, but being a homeschooling mom of four children consumed me. My extra time was dedicated to hiding in the bathroom, trying to catch my breath during another day filled with meltdowns, medications, laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, and thousands of other things. My oldest and youngest have autism and making it to the end of the day is a mission on its own. Even so, I knew in my heart that I was made for missions. I had never felt more alive than when I was serving those who are suffering in Haiti. Yet my circumstances as a caregiver restricted me from doing so many things…how could serving be any different?
As I sat alone at a Haitian orphanage, reflecting and waiting for answers to prayers, a little boy sat across from me. He watched the other children funnel into the school buildings. The staff had told me that he was a child with special needs. Like my son, he couldn’t talk but he was very bright, had the most beautiful smile, and a fun personality. I watched him there, separated from the other children, his face sad and serious. In Haiti, they do not have the resources available to teach and care for students with special needs. The lack of teachers, training, and funding means they just don’t send them to school at all. As I looked at this child, I heard God whisper Fight for him.
That day, I thought I would never go back to the mission field. I had too many caretaking tasks pulling me in too many different directions. I was tired and overwhelmed. As I write this almost three years later, I am still exhausted. I also just returned from my tenth trip to Haiti where I began a small-scale tutoring program for children with special needs to help them take steps towards a successful future. God didn’t let me use my situation at home as an excuse not to do what He’d called me to do.
We are meant to spread the love of Christ, whether it be traveling to an orphanage overseas, donating to a food drive, or calling another special needs mom to let her know she’s not alone. God can use us, in any circumstance, to change the world. Even when your contributions feel small, they may be what God uses to change the lives of those who are suffering. When we sacrifice your time and strength, no matter how little you have to give, He honors you. He sees you. He changes your heart. He makes sure that your mission field is right where you are.
I look at what I do in Haiti and get discouraged. I feel like I’m not enough. But what we do in love can change the course of a life. There is nothing we can’t do through Christ who strengthens us; nothing God can’t do through our willingness to show love to one another. He has a specific purpose for each of us, and we can’t underestimate our ability simply because we are special needs parents. If anything, our experiences as caregivers equip us to reach the hearts of those who are struggling.
There is a beautiful, life-giving energy found in doing acts of service. Things like sending thoughtful cards to shut ins, creating care packages for soldiers and their families, dropping off a meal to someone during a difficult time, sponsoring a child in a foreign country, or putting together an Operation Christmas Child box for the holidays are great places to start. There are so many ways to serve. No matter your caregiving situation, you can make a difference. Because right where you are is your mission field.
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By Amy Felix
My name is Amy Felix. I’ve been married for 10 years to a guy who’s totally out of my league. I’m a homeschooling mom to 4 kids, ranging in age from 9 to 2 years. That’s really enough work on it’s own but, because I love it, I’m a photographer as well. And, in my spare time, I write. My faith is the driving force behind my special needs blog: Appointed To Hope. I’m a firm believer in being real, transparent, and using the gifts of this journey as a way to relate to others in their joy as well as their sorrow. To read more about my adventures in special needs parenting, visit my website at www.appointedtohope.com.
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