As a missionary, I am frequently asked where I serve. Ordinarily, I am not shy, but this question always makes me a bit nervous. It isn’t that I don’t have an answer. No, this awkward feeling in the pit of my stomach is because, well, my response isn’t what most people expect. You see, my mission field is the USA– the place I have lived my entire life.
My husband Jason and I live in a duplex in the suburbs with our cat Cheddar. We don’t eat unusual foods (unless, of course, we choose to). I didn’t attend language school, get a passport, or apply for a visa. I am keenly aware when I describe my missionary life in this way, it sounds less like missionary work and more like an ordinary life, at an ordinary job. After all, don’t missionaries live in remote areas of the world in order to reach the world for Christ?
Yes, some do. For others, however, like my husband and me, the answer is more difficult to explain than simply naming a specific geographic location. There is no refuting our lives differ from our missionary friends serving overseas, but if you ask us why we are missionaries, you will discover that there is shockingly little difference. Regardless of where God has us, we all desire to make a global impact for Christ. We long for all men, women, and children to have an opportunity to hear, understand, and believe the Good News of Jesus Christ … no matter where that is. We all work with the same goal in mind, the same heartbeat, the same purpose. Where and how we do this just looks different.
In Jason’s and my case, we are two big kids with a global heartbeat who God has chosen to impact the world for him by helping grow missionary hearts right in our own country. We do this through One Mission Society’s ministry of One Missions Kids (OMK), a unique kids’ ministry that partners with churches, camps, schools, and families to teach world missions to the next generation.
The impact that helping grow these young missionaries’ hearts has on the world is profound! In fact, just this past year, we trained more than 1,000 kids through OMK programs and witnessed them reaching far beyond the U.S. borders, all the way to the other side of the globe to the people of South Asia! These mission-focused programs gave kids opportunities to learn about other cultures and better understand how God wants to use them to share his love with everyone. During small group prayer circles, they prayed for their world. They used prayer tool and prayer calendars to pray for missionaries and discovered new ways to pray through interactive prayer stations. Their bold faith moved the hand of God and moved adults. As they prayed, the kids asked God how he wanted them to personally be involved and it moved them too! They listened to God cheerfully and sacrificially giving their time, talents, and treasures. This, in turn, inspired others to give more than $15,500 to God’s work. More than $9,600 went to the Be a Light in South Asia project, providing emergency relief aid and life-changing opportunities to hear the Gospel for 82 families. In addition to learning about, praying for, and giving to missions, they discovered how to go out and tell (GOAT) others about Jesus!
Time and time again, I am amazed at all that God is doing here through kids in my homeland and it is in those moments I am reminded why God has me here; and it is the same reason he has placed you where you are to best impact our world for him!
By Lora Campbell, One Mission Kids
Editor's Note: If you'd like to give to the OMS Global Impact Fund that will help ministries around the world, including One Mission Kids, give here.