But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Luke 18:16-17
I don’t know what it is exactly that causes me to expect that, as a newly minted missionary, I should have some great physical, intellectual or spiritual contribution to every ministry focused activity I show up to. Perhaps it’s my maleness or handymanness or just my humanness. The truth is that recently with life, work, mission training, support raising, 2-year-old child rearing, and us having a new one on the way in November, I have just been a whole lot of tired and it has been difficult just to show up, let alone contribute greatness.
So, two weeks ago when our family left town with our friends at Christ the King Church–Austin, and a few other churches, to spend the next 7 days working in Reynosa, Mexico at the mission where we eventually will be serving full-time, I was afraid that just showing up would be my greatest contribution for the week. Maybe it was, and maybe that was enough.
If I took anything away from our most recent trip to Isaiah 55 it was this, a reminder that Christ is building His Church, we just need to show up. Now, obviously, we are all called to do more than just show up, but that is the first step. Over that week I saw a little girl just thrilled to have someone throw a ball with her, kids playing joyfully with each other without a common language, sinks got fixed, trash got moved, fences painted. I watched as a man met, for the first time, a student that he had been sponsoring, and later heard about how he could truly feel Christ’s unconditional love when he hugged that boy. I learned how we, as a group of believers from different backgrounds and different churches, renewed others faith in summer mission trips like these, just because we showed up and loved each other.
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
Did I make any great contribution on our trip? I showed up and I know that God is doing great things everyday in Reynosa. He is doing them through His Church, through Isaiah 55 Ministries and through the church teams that serve there every year. Our family is extraordinarily blessed to have been called to show up to Isaiah 55 every day and to watch God’s work unfold before us. I hope, if you ever have the opportunity to show up as well, that you won’t miss the chance.