Written by: Greg Miller
On a recent short term missions trip our team went door-to-door through a trailer park to talk with people and let them know that bicycles would be repaired for free that coming Thursday. My expectations were that we would find resistance to our efforts and would not get many opportunities to talk with people.
Instead, the opposite was true. People were happy to talk with us and share a little of what was going on in their lives. In addition, one person, instead of wanting bikes repaired, offered to donate about 6 bikes so others could use them! Another resident, we were told, was on a mission trip to Kenya!
If you had asked me where to find people with whom to spend time talking - where to get bike donations - and where to find residents on foreign missions trips, the trailer park was not the place I would have recommended.
Our experience reminded me of several things.
First, it is often those who have the least that give the most. Jesus said that the widow who put two coins into the temple treasury had given more than the wealthy because she gave all that she had. Paul said of the churches in Macedonia that “in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality”, (2 Corinthians 8:2). Poverty can indeed lead to rich liberality! Too often we stay away from the poor. The Lord may want us, instead, to learn about generosity from them.
Secondly, I was convicted by the words of James, “For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, "You sit here in a good place," and say to the poor man, "You stand there," or, "Sit here at my footstool," have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?”, (James 2:2-5). Indeed, the poor of the world are often the richest in faith.
Finally, you are not going to learn much by staying where you are comfortable and playing it safe. The Lord says to “Go” and make disciples. “You are the light of the world.” You won’t shine if you keep your light under a bushel basket. Let your light shine! Go into ghettos and trailer parks. Amazingly, you might find that you will learn something in the process.
Come and join Uncommon Grounds Café in its ministry and find out how much you can learn. You’ll get more than what you give.