By Peggy Kinkade, Missions Team Leader, Helvetia Community Church, Hillsboro
Fifteen years ago, I never dreamed that I would be involved in short-term missions that would take me to India to share health lessons with a group of Dalit women, or to Ecuador to minister with our church’s sent missionaries to a group of at-risk boys and more recently a girl’s home for at-risk girls. When you say “yes” to the Lord, you never know where He will lead you.
I have always had a heart for missions, but there was much I did not know and I was not aware of many opportunities for missionary service. Besides, we were raising our children, had a business to run, and there seemed to be a never-ending list of things to be done and Sunday school to teach, etc. God knew the plans that he had for me and fifteen years ago, our pastor started a missions team and brought in some training for our team. We also had the opportunity to attend Mission ConneXion. It has been an excellent source of learning and exposure to different topics related to missions. So many opportunities, classes, and resources were made available to me and I started reading books and taking classes and learning how God could use me for His purposes and to spread His Word. A phrase I heard a few years ago stated: “Ordinary people doing ordinary things and seeing God do extraordinary things.” That has been true of my missions experience. I found that as I put forth my effort, it would be used by the Master and He would make good things happen from those humble efforts.
These past few years, I have also attended Leadership ConneXion on the Friday before Mission ConneXion Northwest begins. Each time I have attended, I have gained knowledge and been able to take away some important information and apply it to my life and my current missions involvement. One year we had a need for a program to use with a group of at-risk boys in Ecuador and the leadership team presenter provided a resource on peace-making that we still use today. This last year, the Leadership ConneXion speaker helped me clarify how life-shaping experiences work to reveal who God made me to be and how my God-given passions combine with those experiences so that I can serve in the church and carry out God’s great commission. It helped me see that as we get towards the later years of our lives, our God-given passion quadrant needs to be larger than the other quadrants and more of our time should go for the things that we are passionate about, like missions.
I am thankful to have a pastor who encourages missions and to have the wonderful resource of Mission ConneXion to help train, motivate, and provide opportunities for service. Serving in missions has been a very satisfying pursuit, and this ordinary person has been blessed to see God do extraordinary things.