Windows of opportunity: The missions trip that almost wasn't
This is a first-hand account from Lynette Cherry, who pastors Pueblo First Church of the Nazarene in Pueblo, Colorado. Lynette and her team recently returned from a Work & Witness trip in the Philippines.
Have you ever considered the possibility that you are right in the center of a window of opportunity? Our team that went to the Philippines on a recent Work & Witness trip has had that experience.
This was the trip that almost wasn’t. The weeks leading up to our trip were filled with volcanoes erupting, earthquakes trembling, and we were beginning to hear about something called “coronavirus” that at the time was just beginning to spread around the world, causing rumors of quarantines.
All of those reasons, along with various health obstacles, had us seriously considering either canceling or postponing our trip. However, as the team began to really pray, one at a time, we were able to share with one another how God gave us each a peace that surpassed our understanding and we knew He was saying, “Go” even when the world around us was saying “no.” And so, “go” we did.
Our days at the GMA Church of the Nazarene/Lingap Bata Child Development Center were filled with painting, electric work, eating, cleaning, brickwork, eating, building a bookcase, connecting with the people, teaching drama for an outreach presentation to the community, and did we mention eating? However, as our group looks back and reminisces, not one comment has been about what we did but about how we fell in love with the people there and how they loved us with the love of Jesus.
Stan James said, “The church showed us such a beautiful Christ Spirit in all they did, for us and the community.”
Bonnie Boyd summed up this same thought, “The church in GMA are our brothers and sisters in Christ. They cared for us in every way, always giving, so respectful, and fun. We miss them all dearly, and they hold a special place in our hearts.”
Since returning home, we look back at how much has changed in the few short weeks since we have returned. The airports where we traveled are no longer accessible. The ability to travel outside of our homes is very limited, let alone halfway across the world, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is now affecting our entire globe. And once again, we realize that there was a window of time that presented us with an opportunity that was meant for exactly that moment. When God calls, we can trust His leading.
We aren’t sure of the long-range Kingdom impact our visit there might have made. But we do know that there is a group of people who made a lasting impact on us. We are lifting up these people in prayer during this global crisis, by name and face, because they are held in our hearts. It was for such a time as this that God called us to “go,” and we are so glad that we did.
Never forget: you have an opportunity where you are, right now. What is God calling you to at this time?
Please note: The trip described in this story took place before the coronavirus' peak. Global Missions continues to monitor the situation and advise teams regarding upcoming trips.