(Christopher is a member of New Covenant Community OPC, Joliet, IL)
This is the seventh year I have served with the annual "Menominee Missions" short-term missions trip in Zoar, Wisconsin. Our team's central labor has always been to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of the Menominee Indian Reservation by pursuing the hearts of its children, and this summer was no different.
A Day in the Life of Menominee Missions
Mornings saw us approaching every door in town with the promise of entertaining kids and feeding everyone who joined us at the public park.
True to our word, we served a barbecue lunch, offered coloring pages with Bible verses, sang children's gospel songs together, delivered virtuosic (or "hammy," as some critics might contend) skit performances laced with biblical truths, and spent hours playing and talking with the children.
We then invited the young ones to the church for a Vacation Bible School later in the evening, where our team helped the members of Menominee OPC conduct the program.
With piggyback rides, running games, and struggles to maintain order filling our time, the team was often left physically and mentally tuckered out at the end of each day, but performing these labors to advance Christ's kingdom made them richly worth the effort.
Finally, we brought the children back to the church on Sunday morning for a specially-tailored worship service and sermon, followed by a fellowship meal.
Temptation to Doubt
The advance of Christ's kingdom, however, is seldom quick or obvious to human eyes. Menominee OPC does not have a large attendance, and our team has never known any of the children under our ministry to make a profession of faith. Without discernible results, there may arise a temptation to doubt the value of everything we do. After all, what can a few songs, skits, and coloring pages do to win souls for Christ? What good is it to teach the Bible to children who seem to hardly pay attention, who are too young to understand, or old enough to be defiant and disruptive? How can a few hours of gospel presentation make so much as a dent in malleable hearts that are being shaped by contrary influences from every other direction?
Called to Scatter Seed
To believers, the Lord has given an antidote to such doubt that we always carry with us wherever we go: our very own regeneration! We, who by nature had everything going against us and opposed God as much as any hardened heathen, were transformed by the Holy Spirit to know and love Christ; therefore we may have the same hope for these children. It was comforting to remember that their salvation was not our burden to shoulder, that I could wholly commit that work to God in prayer even in moments when they were rowdiest and least interested in our gospel message. It was heartening to remember that our team had only been called to scatter seed, so that we might scatter it vigorously and entrust the growth to God.
Chris appears in the lower right corner of this photo of Menominee Missions 2019 team members.
Click HERE for more testimonials and photos from Menominee Missions 2019.
Visit OPCSTM.org for more photos and testimonials from those who have served as short-term missionaries in 2019!