Life on the Road: Missions in the U.S

Anyone that has held a conversation with me for five minutes probably learned somewhere along the way that I have a huge passion for missions. I’m convinced it must’ve been apart of the stitching God used when He knit me together in my mother’s womb because the opportunity to leave what’s familiar to offer hope to others brings me so much joy. However, I must admit that for the longest time my perspective on missions was limited, in other words, when I thought “leave what is familiar,” I  was pretty much thinking, international. I have traveled to other countries to serve a couple times and those were some of the best experiences of my life; but, this past year, I decided to embark on a different type of missionary journey. I joined a ministry called, Silver Ring Thing (SRT), which allows me to travel throughout the U.S for 9 months spreading the gospel through the message of abstinence.

I had never considered domestic missions before, but seeing the way sex has been negatively impacting the lives of teens in our country, I decided that this was something I wanted to be apart of.Me joining this ministry was somewhat of a “unique” situation. I had never seen an event before and I had no idea what being apart of it entailed, but what I did know was it involved Christ and I was passionate about it’s cause. So I packed up and moved across the country to join the team. Now SRT is not your typical form of missionary work. We don’t build homes for the homeless, sit with the elderly, or tutor students in the inner city. I actually enjoy doing those things so I am not implying that anything is wrong with them, but God has granted us {my team and I} with the privilege of ministering to students about a very “touchy” subject {no pun intended} in a very creative way. We put on a fun show with lights, lasers, videos, music, skits, and we share our testimonies relating to sex {whether we have had sex or not} and how and why we decided to remain abstinent or start over. This all leads up to the most important part, ministering the Gospel, which happens at the end of each event. Every night we see students either recommit or commit their lives to Christ. We also see students decide to abstain from sex to honor God, themselves, and their future spouses.We do about three or four, sometimes five of these shows a week traveling from city to city, state to state. The only consistency we have is our bus, which is our home for the 9 months! We sleep in hotels or with very kind people who trust God enough to open their homes to strangers and instead of eating foreign foods, we eat America’s “best”, fast food, which i’m sure sounds like fun to some people until you eat it ALL THE TIME.

When you travel the country in this way, you begin to see a lot and i’m not just talking about America’s beautiful landscape. You begin to see the people. You see the hosts filled with compassion for their communities. You see the families that open their homes because they support the cause. You see the tears of students carrying heavy burdens due to family situations, teen pregnancies, wrong decisions, peer pressure, multiple sex partners, low self- worth, self harm, the list goes on. You see parents encouraged because what they have been trying to communicate to their students finally clicked after seeing an event. 

God has shown me that I had been so internationally mission minded that I forgot that lives still needed to be impacted right here in the U.S. When I traveled to those other countries, I prepared for the worst. I prepared for poverty, disease, different types of spiritual bondage, but in America people have money, health insurance, and even go to church, but they are still hurting. They have lost hope and need a Savior. I have seen missionary work happen on and off the stage; while traveling from place to place and when stopping for food or gas,  at a football game when God led me to pray with a young mother and her son, at the supermarket when I was not only able provide food for, but also sit, talk to and pray with a homeless woman, after an event when a student felt too unworthy to go up for salvation due to sexual identity struggles, when God allowed me to cross paths with and witness to a student who missed the event, but desperately needed healing of the pain left by sexual abuse, and when the team can lend a helping hand to a small town ripped apart by a tornado. God said “go” and I obeyed and am now seeing the impact on others, but mostly on myself.  :)