For the past 10 years or so I have done some kind of mission work during Holy week. Holy week is just not the same for me and my family without bringing Christ to others and stepping out of the comforts of our home and giving people hope and joy by bringing them Christ. I figure there is no better time than to accompany Christ during these moments we remember his passion and death.
Most of my missions were done in Atlanta going door to door praying with people and accompanying them in their joys and sorrows and bringing them back to the church by making invitations and most of all teaching them more about the love of God. I also went to Mexico in 2003 to do missions and this was one amazing experience. We went into the rural parts of Mexico and traveled by foot from house to house many times speaking few words, but giving lots of smiles, hugs and playing lots of games. It was a life changing experience for me. It is amazing how you give so little and Christ gives you so much. There has not been a mission where I have not received more than I have given. Remember the loaves and fish story in the Gospels...it still happens today every day with each one of us when we give to God the little we have. The little we have is never ever enough because we are so limited, but God asks us give it anyways give it all give it out of love to me and I will multiply I will make it something beautiful! I am deceived by my pride often to think that I have done something great when really I did so little, I gave so little and God made up for the rest and it is only with him and through him that I can ever accomplish anything worthwhile anything really wonderful!
So I decided that we needed to continue with missions here in TN even though I would have to plan them and even though I had not thought it through until the week before Holy week. My family was going to do missions and they would have to be simple. So this is what we did. They were so simple, but they ended up being so beautiful. I began thinking about who we should serve in the community and the word dignity occurred to me...we should go were dignity is lacking in our world. My thought was the elderly, the poor, the unborn! Those are three areas that are so blatantly obvious that our world has no respect and provides no dignity. Our mission to provide dignity where dignity is lacking! So I called a local nursing home and got in touch with the activities coordinator. I proposed to her that a group of kids (I did not have the kids at the time) would act out the Station of the Cross for the community. She did not know what the Stations of the Cross were, but her response was "Well that sounds way better than bingo." They had bingo planned for 3pm on Good Friday, but now we were allowed to come in and perform the Stations of the Cross for the community at 3pm on Good Friday. During Lent every Friday our family does the living Stations of the Cross. At the beginning of Lent Branden took the kids to Home Depot and got the materials to build the cross we would use to do the live Stations every Friday night. It was a grand production every week! The kids loved it and wanted to do it more often than once a week. So I knew at least my kids would know how to act out the Stations now we just needed some more kids so my kids and some big kids to be narrators. It worked out we had about 15 kids to participate in the Stations and we even had Mr. Gill to play the guitar for us and every third station we sang the song where you there when they crucified my Lord. It was beautiful and it did touch many hearts and instead of bingo we were able to bring these people the beauty of Gods love through these little children.
The last thing we did for missions is invited families to gather with us at the abortion clinic in Nashville to pray at 10am on Holy Saturday. We ended up being sick and couldn't go to the mission we planned, but there were families there and there was one story of a woman named Faith that was specifically impacted by a family there praying. She drove into the abortion center parking lot and then drove out and then drove back in and then walked across the street to talk to our friend Angela who has three young boy and her husband Matt was with her. Faith told Angela her story and why she wanted to have an abortion...she was overwhelmed and she had one son with cerebral palsy and his medical bills were expensive...she did not have the energy or money to care for another baby. Angela gave her hope and Faith left the abortion clinic. There is such beauty and grace that comes from praying for the unborn.
Missions are amazing if you don't do them or don't have them around you then start them! They won't only change others lives...they will change yours as well. What I described above was thrown together with a couple phone calls and a couple emails. It did cause me way to much stress when the cross broke before we were supposed to go the nursing home. I tried Brandens different tools but I split a couple pieces of wood and then I resorted to the ever so faithful DUCT TAPE...this stuff never fails! I Love it!