I used to think mission trips were elaborate long trips to other countries. As I have grown older and wiser, I have come to understand that anything we do as Christians, that represent the hands and feet of Jesus, are missions.
There are different types of missionary work: local, regional, state-wide, out of state and other countries. Not everyone is called to do the same work. Some prefer to stay local while others prefer to travel to other countries. All missionary work is needed, and we are to be those missionaries.
JFUMC is great about doing things for the community of Jacksonville. We have Mission 5000 that is available twice a week. We also have MIA (Methodists in Action)Sunday, where we go into the community and work on a Sunday morning. Our Sew-N-Sew Group sews layettes and blankets for multiple area organizations. We also have a group of people that crochet and knit hats and blankets. These are all wonderful ways we give back locally.
Once a year a group of people from Jacksonville and our Church go serve at Sager Brown. Sager Brown is part of UMCOR and is located in Baldwin, Louisiana. This group takes bags that our Sew-N-Sew group has made and work in the warehouse. This year we verified cleaning buckets and layette kits. We made sure that the supplies that were supposed to be in each bucket or kit were the correct size and everything was there. Over the course of the week, and with the help of six other groups from Arkansas, Georgia and Texas; we verified 2,139 layette kits and 792 cleaning buckets. Also, an additional 290 bags were sewn. We were able to go into the local community and help at places like Bambi Head Start, The Bridge (Teen Challenge), Chez Hope (domestic violence shelter for women and their children), Saint Jules Apartments (Senior Living and retirement community) and Matthew 25 (thrift shop to benefit The Bridge). We also replaced a floor and wall in the trailer of a gentleman who just received a heart and lung transplant.
Jesus calls us to be His hands and feet. There are so many opportunities for us to accomplish that mission. Each time we are His missionaries we receive blessings from those we have helped. To hear their stories and how we have helped them is a blessing in itself. They are usually so thankful and gracious. Nothing is better than seeing how you might have helped improve someone’s life. What are ways you can be Jesus’ hands and feet right here at JFUMC and Jacksonville, Arkansas? Receive a blessing!!
Christian Education Coordinator