Mission Trip Opportunities

 

From My Perspective...

Pam's Story

I went on my very first mission trip to Minot, ND in April 2013 and went back in August 2013. We were there to help rebuild homes from a flood. It was an awesome experience and I had been wanting to go on another one. When the Houston opportunity came up I couldn’t wait to sign up as this would be a similar experience to Minot—helping people with rebuilding their homes due to Hurricane Harvey.

At our first team meeting I was pleased to see 2 of the people I had gone to Minot with there. I soon found out that our housing arrangements would be much different from Minot in that we would be staying in a school classroom at a church instead of cabins with 2-3 women. A lot out of my comfort zone, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

We ended up working on 2 houses a few blocks from each other in Katy and the owners were related to each other. The devastation was unreal. This particular area was flooded due to water being released from a nearby levee. Our team consisted of 6 volunteers from St. John’s and 2 others from WA joined us. The owner of the 1st house was so thankful when we arrived. The family was living upstairs, but had no kitchen and much work needed to be done downstairs. She had lost her husband recently and was caring for her mother—a tough situation in itself. We were able listen to her story and show her that we cared. We worked on her house for 2 days.

When we were getting ready to go to the next house, we were told that the owner was uneasy with some volunteers working on his home. Our team leader and another team member went to visit him. When we arrived the following day you would not have known about his hesitation. He was friendly and talkative and appreciated our work. Our 2nd day there he told us “we were like family”. We were hoping to get up as much sheetrock up that we could. Most of our team had a lot of experience doing this particular job, but I had none. I learned a lot of new skills and enjoyed doing them. Roxy and I even learned how to put insulation in!!

On our last day there, the owner fixed us lunch--he barbequed some chicken, sausage & steak & provided some salads. We put 2 saw horses at each end and put a piece of sheetrock for the table and had a wonderful lunch together—talking & sharing. As we finished up working on his house (and we got a lot done!), we cleaned up & then gathered in a big circle to pray. Each one of us said a short prayer including the owner & his 16 yr old daughter. As we said good-bye & were walking down the sidewalk he yelled “love you guys”. It was a tearful good-bye for many of us.

This mission trip was indeed a blessing with being a part of a team helping people rebuild their homes & getting to know other volunteers while we shared meals & devotions. Many thanks to Salem Lutheran where we stayed and providing us with 3 meals each work day. And kudos to our team leader, Dena Mojo, who not only planned our trip and took care of all the details but also chauffeured us all around the Houston area. I am looking forward to my next mission opportunity. To God be the Glory.

Sam's Story

Going on a mission is a life changing event. The first change is making the decision (through prayer) to go on the mission, this is both an exciting change and a scary change. Exciting because of the going out and following Christ's command to love (help) our neighbors and experiencing the unknown. It is also scary because of the unknown. However through prayer and the understanding that you are not expected to know everything, that your primary role is to love and help the scariness is replaced by excitement.

There is a natural uncertainness in going on a mission, Do I have the skills or knowledge to be effective? What will I say? Just know that being there and showing love is sufficient, the rest will follow.

A case in point, on our recent mission trip to Houston, our team was assigned to work at a site where the owner had been let down other volunteer groups, the HOA of his development (wanted the front yard fixed)and the various government agencies involved with the recovery. So he was reluctant and leery of any help. Long story short by the time we left he was calling us part of his family, not through our doing but totally through Christ's love.

Mission trips can be rewarding to the people you are helping but you receive many blessings as well.

In His Service,

Sam Vorhee

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St. John’s Mission Task Force is on the move. We are seeking mission participants at all levels – where will you serve? Space available for mission participants, leaders, encouragers, supporters – you can even join the Mission Task Force!

Jesus calls us: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

Jesus sends us: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

The Mission Task Force has new servant opportunities in the local, national, and international fields we are cultivating. 

If you have a heart for missions and desire to support the missions undertaken by St. John’s,
contact the Missions team to find out how you can be involved: receptionist@sjlchurch.org.

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