A Typical Day At Missionlab
It’s 5:30 A.M. I’ve been in bed for about 6 hours. And my alarm just went off. I sit up and sling my legs over the side of my bed. I put on my ‘camp clothes’ and get around for the day.
A cup of coffee is a must as I sit down for my time with God. By 6:30, I’m walking to the auditorium for the first activity of the day; Morning Focus. Following which, I’ll hitch a ride across campus for breakfast, just in time to high-five this week’s campers as they come in. Afterward, we’ll head out to our sites for the day and get back with about 30 minutes to change and head to dinner.
It’s Tuesday so tonight we have worship. After that, the other staffers and I will head back to our apartments for the night. Or, if we feel like it, we might go for ice-cream or some other late-night snack. Then, it’s off to bed so we can do it all again tomorrow.
So goes a ‘typical’ day in the life of a MissionLab Summer Missionary. But few things beyond this are typical. Throughout my time with MissionLab, I worked at over a dozen different sites and multiple different ministry types, ranging from children’s ministry to homeless ministry.
Some days were smooth as could be while others seemed to be riddled with one misfortune after another. And yet I found God to be faithful in every moment. Faithful to me, to my teams, to those we served and faithful to teach me so many lessons.
Very early in the summer, I made myself a little poster, my ‘why’ poster. Something I could look at and remember why I was here doing what I was doing. One of my top reasons was “to do something bigger than myself. Something I cannot do alone.”
I am fiercely independent. I tend to rely on myself for nearly everything. This can be a good thing, but the issue comes when I try to rely on myself instead of God. And so he called me to be a Summer Missionary and taught me how to rely on him.
What He Taught Me
He taught me things like:
~ The absolute safest place you can be is exactly where God has called you.
~ God never gives you a mission that he doesn’t intend to complete.
~ God’s word is never shared without it accomplishing what it was sent by him to accomplish.
~When the Spirit leads, follow.
Heading into this summer, I expected to be stretched. I knew I’d be pushed beyond my
limits and that I’d learn a thousand lessons. And I did. I learned how to adapt leadership styles to each group. I learned to ask the hard questions and say the difficult things. I learned how to minister in so many different contexts. I learned humility, independence, and boldness.
I learned that God is not merely the God of one demographic. He is the father of all. Oh, sure, I knew this in my heart, but seeing it day in and day out was life-changing. Jesus didn’t come just for the old or just for the young. He didn’t come for one culture and not for another. He came for all. Because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Because all are in need of his love. Because Christ died for all. And he loves all. He has called us to love all.
So, while each day was punctuated by consistent events, life as a Summer Missionary was anything but boring. I made new friends whom I will love until the day I die. I explored new places and concepts. And I know that the lessons I learned over the summer of 2019 will stay with me forever.