I Am A Missionary
By: Susan Naslund
There are a number of other things I call myself: wife, mother, daughter, and sister. I am also a logophile and a glockenspielist, but oddly, those last two titles roll off my tongue much more easily than the moniker of "missionary." That is probably because many people are not sure just what I mean by that term, and I do not like to use it without giving an explanation of what I believe a missionary is.
When I first became involved with our Missions Committee this year, many of my friends asked me which exotic country I had planned to visit in the near future. Initially, I gave them a puzzled look until I realized that many people at Foothills think that the goal of the Missions Committee is to send people to spread the gospel of Christ in a foreign field.
Indeed, with the support of our Missions Committee, our congregation has sent several teams of missionaries abroad to such places as Australia and Russia. We currently provide financial and prayer support for the Neals, a family of missionaries of the United Methodist Church in the California-Pacific Conference serving in Fiji. Perhaps you recently heard the sermon preached by Bishop Eduard Khegay of the Eurasian Episcopal area. The Missions Committee presented the Bishop with a check for $4,000 at the time for continued ministries in Vladivostock.
I am not that kind of missionary.
As United Methodists, we are called to "respond with love for the hurting world," as it says on the UMC website. Further, "United Methodists have a long tradition of caring about working for a world of reconciliation, peace and justice for all people."
Even though I have never evangelized on a different continent, I dream of a world of reconciliation, peace and justice for all people, and I want to do my part to make it so. Last summer, I went along on a youth mission trip to Portland, Oregon, where we all learned about serving others together. We returned home with many ideas about how to love our neighbors here in La Mesa. Take those ideas and combine them with the established ministries in our church (such as the Moses Baskets Project, Prayer Quilt Ministry, and Wil-Mats) and we have many ways to spread the gospel of Christ through our acts of service in our own town.
I am that kind of missionary.
The vision of Foothills is to be "community serving community for the transformation of the world." If that is also your vision, we can start changing the world together right here.
After all, you are a missionary, too.
Whether here or abroad, will you be a part of fulfilling our vision of hope and love in God's peace-making kingdom? We need all kinds of missionaries to go out in service through the open doors of the United Methodist Church.