It seems like crises like what we have seen in Haiti, Chile, and even in Nashville, TN bring out the best in people, and we are glad. We encourage you to get involved in providing relief where and however you can. Here is a great place where you can go find out where you can best give. Three of Shane’s favorite organizations are: Compassion International, World Vision, and Samaritan’s Purse, or perhaps you want to help serve right at home by packaging meals. Get involved, it is needed, and every little bit helps.
As you participate in those efforts we’d like to also encourage you to remember the work closer to home. Jesus, in his last words to his disciples, said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth,” (Acts 1:8, NIV). In participating in your global mission, (“ends of the earth”), don’t forget your “backyard mission” (Judea and Samaria). What might your backyard mission be?
It’s as unique as you. Perhaps it is serving homeless adults or youth. Maybe it working with young women who are in the midst of a crisis pregnancy either when they just find out or to help provide support throughout. It could be serving breakfast for inner-city kids or working on behalf of marriages. Also, don’t forget to look at opportunities that your local church is involved in as well.
We’d also like to encourage you to consider “backyard mission” opportunities with us. Maybe it is mentoring a child who has a parent in prison or who has been impacted by incarceration. Perhaps you can find your backyard mission by visiting a young person at Polk County Youth Services or by leading a Bible discussion group in a local juvenile facility. Perhaps it is providing support to a young man or woman coming out of a placement.
Whatever you discover your “backyard mission” to be dive in because the need is great here at home as well.