Where is the Mission Field

In less than two weeks, I’ll be in Niger, Africa on a mission trip. A group from my church recently returned from Haiti.  One of the team members was sharing his experiences with the congregation, and he said something that resonated with me. He asked, “What would happen if we all acted the same way in our daily lives as we do when on a mission trip?”  I tend to forget that any time I leave the church sanctuary, I’m on the mission field. We are all called to go, and that means everywhere we go, there are opportunities to share the gospel.

This morning, I made a rare trip to the Laundromat. As I sat engrossed, studying material for my pending trip, an elderly man folded his clothes. We didn’t speak, and I was barely aware of him until I noticed he was struggling to open the door with his basket full of clothes. He dropped his leather jacket, and it was only then that I jumped to offer assistance. Another woman rushed in and started removing her clothes from the dryer and rapidly folded her clothes. It was obvious she was in a hurry. I could have offered to help, but I tuned out the world around me as I had my head stuck in a book. She left, and I was alone, waiting for my comforter to dry.  A man dressed in a suit and a young woman entered the Laundromat. They looked as if they were on their way to church. I looked up as they walked toward me, and he boldly asked, “Do you know Jesus?” I stood up and said, “Yes. I’m preparing to go to Niger on a mission trip in two weeks.” His response was, “That’s very interesting. We are Jehovah’s Witnesses.”  He then handed me a pamphlet and promptly left. I sat down and read the brochure.

I’m not well informed about Jehovah’s Witnesses, but their actions this morning reminded me that I was sitting right in the middle of the mission field.  Had I been focused on the people surrounding me, I might have had the opportunity to share the gospel.  Satan can trick us into focusing on the wrong things.

There are lost people all around us. I hope you’ll read this and remember that you are in the mission field.


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About shelia@sheliastovall.com

Shelia Stovall is a Southern, small-town librarian, and has an understanding of what women like to read. She is a member of ACFW and is currently the Treasurer of the Middle Tennessee ACFW Chapter. Shelia is a member of the Ky. Public Library Association and the American Library Association. Her short story, The Barber’s Sanctuary, won the fiction division of Kentucky Monthly’s sixth annual Writer’s Showcase in the November 2013 issue. Shelia is a weekly columnist for the Citizen-Times, based in Scottsville, Ky. Shelia’s Southern, small-town roots have given her an understanding of community and women's friendships. Her writing deals with difficult contemporary issues, but there’s always a thread of hope amid the calamity. Shelia is passionate about African missions and has traveled to Africa annually for the past four years. Community service is also important to Shelia, and she has volunteered as a crew chief for five years at Camp Habitat, (a Christian youth service camp that partners with Habitat for Humanity).

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