My Missions professor used to say, “You don’t have to cross salt water to do missions.”
I thought that when I moved to the Dominican Republic I would finally fulfill my years-long desire to be a missionary. When I arrived here and started settling down – going to work, going to church, going to Bible study, making friends – I realized that as a missionary I was doing all of the exact same things I was doing as a college student. In fact, I was doing more “ministry” in Springfield, Ohio than I do here.
What I realized is that I already was a missionary in Springfield, Ohio and before that in Westland, Michigan. I was a missionary at my high school and at the grocery store. I was a missionary at the daycare where I worked and at church. I was a missionary because I am a missionary. And if you’ve decided to do this walk-with-Jesus thing then you are a missionary, too.
During my last year of college I lived down the street from an organization called Safe Harbor House. Safe Harbor House was started by a (mega cool) Cedarville University (hey, that’s where I went!) professor named Joy Fagan. Joy is a missionary and her mission field in Springfield, Ohio (which is a wonderful, broken city where I’ve left some of my heart).
What Safe Harbor House does, in their own words:
While I never worked with the women from Safe Harbor (grown-ups make me nervous) I did care for some of their precious children at the daycare. So I know some of these ladies. I certainly know ladies with stories very similar to some of these ladies. These women are moms and sisters and daughters and friends and they’re stuck. And they need a little help. Because life is hard and for most of these women life has been especially hard.
Today I received this e-mail from Joy:
What WILL you do? We have a resident at Safe Harbor who lived with her kids in abandoned houses before going to prison/jail for three years. She was a stripper to make ends meet. She is fighting to overcome the demons of heroine, alcohol and bath salts that “helped” her live with the pain of sexual abuse and generational cycles of crime and substance abuse that were just a part of life. By God’s grace, she’s trying to live life right side up.
I don’t draw a penny from this ministry, so this is not a plea for me. We have ten women and 32 kids/grandkids who depend on our 24/7 residential treatment and transition to get their second chance at life and break generational cycles and they depend on donors like YOU to do it. They are working hard and need a “hand up”.
Pass this on to your friends, post it on your Facebook, contact business partners and friends that are looking for meaningful ways to invest. I’m planting and watering and counting on God to give the increase, so there’s no desperation here, just motivation to partner with you in being His hands and feet in the trenches. Don’t just listen to the song, hear it and respond as He leads!
Also, challenged by my friend, Jeff Cook, I am doing a triathlon the first of June as a fund raiser. I’m going to row, run and bike for 30 miles. I am asking friends to donate 50 cents ($15) or a dollar ($30) a mile for this effort. 50% of the proceeds will go to operational needs for Safe Harbor and 50% will go to capital. Every penny goes to help this organization! You can wait until after it is completed or challenge me ahead of time by going to www.safeharborhouse.org and click on “Donate Now” and donate your amount for the 30 miles I will cover with these women’s faces and the heart of Jesus motivating me every step of the way.
Pass the word along…the ripple effect is amazing when we can offer the highest quality of services for these women who have chosen a very difficult but hopeful journey. Come be a part–consider this your invitation!
joy, for Safe Harbor House
Please, please, please consider being a part of what God is doing with these women. Be part of a mission you don’t have to cross salt water for. Heck, you don’t even have to leave your couch. Click on Donate Now and give. I did. Will you?