When I was a child growing up in he Moravian Church, I thought that the mission field was some foreign land where really brave and selfless Christians ventured to take Bibles and to share the good new of Jesus. The Moravian Church actually spawned the first missionaries to foreign lands; and today, we can find Christian missionaries of all colors, denominations, and skills sharing the redeeming love of Christ in all corners of the globe. After all, the risen Lord–prior to ascending into heaven– told his disciples to “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all.” (Mark 16:16, The Message)
I used to FEAR being that person God called to serve in the most remote areas of Africa or some other faraway place that doesn’t have the comforts to which I’ve grown accustomed over my life, including available and clean water.
Over the years I have heard many missionaries speak of their work in former Soviet states, in Southeast Asia, in Central America, in Africa, in Europe, and in the Caribbean.
It wasn’t until I made my Cursillo back in 2000 that I really started to realize my mission field is everywhere– in my family, neighborhood, workplace, friend groups–EVERYWHERE.
And my mission isn’t to be “preachy,” but to be a vessel of Christ’s love in meeting people where they are. You can’t really talk to someone about God unless you have built a relationship with that person, but you CAN treat them with love!
And so it was, on a recent hot and humid day here in Virginia Beach, that two soul sisters and I gathered over lunch on a beautiful restaurant patio to share recent joys and challenges in our businesses, never knowing that patio would become a mission field to which we were called.
As we sat munching on our sandwiches and guzzling lemon-infused water, a vacationing couple and their dog came onto the patio and sat at a table across from us. At first, the woman commented on my friend’s cute pink and white shorts, then she opened up to share how her partner, a very kind blind gentleman, was having challenges finding a job, even though he as a four-year college degree. I started chatting with them about what he might like to do and offered to send them nonprofit jobs that hit my inbox.
We all returned to our lunches, when the woman, admittedly having sipped a few cocktails, proclaimed she wanted to dance. The music at this place is always grooving, so we all said we love to dance, too.
The next thing you know, we are all getting down on the patio to Curtis Mayfield and a host of other R and B legends. We laughed, we held hands, we pranced and danced… complete strangers.
As we took a breather, the lady, a single mom of two who teaches special education, showed us one of her bracelets that had a verse of scripture etched in it. She explained that she is looking to be baptized but doesn’t quite feel “ready” or worthy of it.
Little did she know that we three women are part of a larger group of gals who call ourselves “Christ-Centered Boss Babes.” We are friends, first and foremost, but we also do Bible studies and prayer challenges together and support one another’s businesses.
And we are called to mission.
We told her right there that all she had to do was commit, get into Christian community, and be open to the Spirit.
And then we formed a circle, joined hands, and prayed.
I’ve since traded a few texts with this lovely gal, who said, “It’s not too often you bump into ladies like you!”
Funny… my friends and I had been meeting at a different place the past couple months but decided on this particular day to enjoy the fresh food and patio of this fave spot of mine.
Yes, on a garden spot plot of bricks across from the Chesapeake Bay on a sweltering June afternoon, we walked onto our mission field.
Because you see, it’s right in front of you.. wherever you are.
Keep dancing. Keep prancing. Keep praying.
Keep being Christ to others.
Amy Walton is a multi-certified coach who lives near the Chesapeake Bay. She does a few other things, too, including Lizard Pose, digging her nails in dirt, and trying to improve her piano skills. She also loves to dance… even on patios. Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.