…Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.   Mark 5:19.

Jesus said these words to a man that he had healed from demon possession and who now understood that Jesus as his Savior had healed his heart by removing his sins.   His immediate reaction was to go with Jesus and share that good news out on the road abroad. However, Jesus said that he was to begin his ministry right at home sharing with others what he had witnessed.  This message of Jesus also extends to us.  I can share with you from personal experience what it can look like through different seasons of life.

As a child it meant sharing Jesus with my friends at school and in the neighborhood and bringing them to church, Sunday school and Bible school.  As I traveled by air to high school and college, it meant sharing with the passenger who sat next to me.  In my part time jobs, it meant sharing Jesus with coworkers. As a teacher, it meant sharing in my classroom with those of young faith. 

As a mother it meant sharing with my own children and helping them to realize their own mission field whether at school, various activities, or with their nearby neighbors.  In the neighborhood it meant creating activities to help my children build relationships with other children so that they would also be interested in hearing about their Savior.  It involved setting up a badminton net in the front yard along with a basketball hoop.  It meant playing with the newest litter of bunnies or puppies with others in our front yard.  It meant having children for a family meal in which we had devotions. It meant inviting children to Bible school in which they together rode bicycles to participate and then later progressed to opportunities to attend Sunday school.  

As a wife, it meant inviting other wives for coffee and building relationships one neighbor at a time.  As a family it meant inviting other neighborhood families for a barbecue or for cookies during the Christmas season.  It meant bringing a meal to those who were sick or sending notes of encouragement to those going through difficult times.

With each new move, it was about learning what was important in that particular culture and being sensitive to it rather than pushing our own culture upon them.  It didn’t matter whether my husband’s call was in different communities in the States or in Canada or in Africa.  The mission field became learning about the people, their culture, the things they held as important and the different struggles which affected them.  It was about making the new place our home so that we could get involved in people’s lives.  We prayed and looked for those opportunities to share what great things God has done in our lives and how he gave us Jesus who also loved them.

When my husband was dying of cancer, our mission field as a couple changed and became the hospital room and the doctor’s offices. As we walked the hospital halls hand in hand, it meant sharing the beauty of a godly marriage in a place where marriage was not held in high regard. It meant giving glory to God through the difficult moments and through the tears.  It was sharing the hope that we have with others as separation from my spouse became part of God’s plan as he eventually took him home to heaven. 

As a widow the mission field changed as God brought new people into my life and I once again moved to a new neighborhood in a different state. In my international travels it became the people on each tour.  As a grandmother of a growing family of 17 grandchildren my mission field has grown in new ways.  It has given me opportunities to share with these special children in my life what great things God has done for me through the decades.  It is all about sharing from my past some of the examples of how through joy and through adversity, God never abandoned me but walked alongside me.  It is about reminding them that they too have a Savior that will walk alongside them as they journey through this life toward our eternal home.  

Once again the Lord is blessing me with a special, new relationship. As life has slowed down, the newest mission field has become the people that we meet on our walks, the cashiers that we meet in the stores, the waiters and waitresses that we meet in the restaurant and the people with whom we play cards.  It continues to be the people that God brings along our path and our prayer is that we don’t miss the opportunities that he brings to share our Savior and what great things he has done for us.

Dear Jesus, keep us ever mindful of our daily mission field that you have given to each one of us.  Help us to confidently share what great things you have done for us.  Remind us that all you ask of us is to share the Good News and that the Holy Spirit will take it from there.  Amen.