Part one of three:  Home Mission

Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.  On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.  John 6:27
As a young bride, young mother, and a young pastor’s wife, I was moving to a new state to support my husband as a home mission pastor. Life was busy in the city. There were so many things to do to adjust to our new life. Life seemed busy for everyone in this city. Were people too busy to take time for Jesus? 

The answer to the question was definitely not for a small core group of faithful saints who worked to set up church each Sunday in a public school classroom and later in a gym. This small group spent hours reaching out to the community in so many ways:  get-to-know-you dinners, vacation Bible school, monthly evangelism letters, and daily personal sharing of God’s grace in their words and deeds. Eagerly they searched for the perfect place to establish a permanent location. It was a privilege to contribute alongside them whenever possible. But was all this work in vain? Would the busy world around us ever stop and listen?

God’s perfect timing was always evident. When the time was right, a location was purchased and this year a group of saints gathered to celebrate 40 years of that church sharing God’s grace with the city surrounding it. At just the right time, God caused individuals to stop and spend time in the Word and learn of the true Savior despite the circumstances they were in on this earth. At just the right time, the Holy Spirit worked faith in hearts. At just the right time, a woman took a letter from the church out of her purse and called the pastor. At just the right time, a man called the pastor after talking to his doctor. In God’s timing, the church still is a tool as busy people stop and are served with the gospel message.

Such is the history of a small mission church. From this history, I learned that all God asks us to do is serve.  The increase of believers is his in HIS timing. The busy city life reminds us all that we should never get too busy to stop and learn from God’s Word. We should never be too busy to serve someone with the gospel. All is then left in the Lord’s hands. The Holy Spirit grows my faith. The Holy Spirit works in the hearts of busy people in his timing. Be busy—as being busy in the Word.

Heavenly Father , help me each day to spend time in your Word. Help me each day to schedule my busy life around your will. Strengthen my faith so I can continue to reach out to others with your saving grace. Amen.

LWMS Devotions - based on the privileges I have had to work in mission fields.
Anna Bartsch