Hasn't the word 'Missions' seemed more generic recently? Maybe it's just me, but I feel like the word has been tossed around without much attention to the weight of what it means. It's called a 'Missions Trip' because it's all about Jesus's mission for us, which is to spread His message and to show others His love through our actions; street ministry, visiting orphanges, rebuilding homes, providing medical services, feeding people, building churches (physically and spiritually), and in any way possible, loving people. I'm taking a journey this summer to go to Vietnam for thirty days and work with my uncle who has been a missionary there for decades. He lives the mission every day.
The crazy thing is until about a two years ago, I had never met the man. Here's the story:
A man and woman sat in the back of a police officer's car. They hadn't committed any crimes, rather they were searching for someone. Or someplace. They weren't entirely sure what it was that they would find. They had shown the detective a few old documents from the woman's past, and after he made a few phone calls, they were speeding through alleys and backstreets.
The couple looked at eachother, white-knuckle grips on their seatbelts, wondering if they had made a mistake. But, they eventually reached a small house and parked outside. Through the translator, the detective told them that the documents pointed to this particular house. So they knocked on the door.
A young Korean girl answered the door, and in English said the woman, "You must be Helen, I've heard so much about you; my grandmother has told me all about you."
Helen, color completely drained from her face, nearly fell over. She had never met this girl before.
My mom, Helen, and my dad had just closed a three and a half decade loop in that moment. See, when Helen was born in a small South Korean town, her mother was not able to care for her. So, she gave my mother to a good friend who she knew could take care of her. The woman who took Helen into her family is known as Ma. Ma is the reason why I exist today. She took my mother into her home as her foster child, and took care of her.
A year or so later, an American soldier and his wife arrived in Korea. The soldier's wife, Nancy, became close friends with Ma. Ma would take trips into town and get anything that Nancy would request. Nancy had grandchildren back in America, and one day she asked Ma if she would get some babydolls for them. Ma said in broken English to wait eight or nine days.
One week later, Ma walked into Nancy's house with little Helen on her back. Instead of a babydoll, Ma had brought a real baby! Nancy looked at the little girl, then at Ma and in her Carolina accent said, "If you put her down, you ain't gettin' her back!" And so my mother was adopted and brought back to the States.
Ma had kids of her own, three boys, one of which Nancy gave the English name James. After Nancy brought my mom to the US, her foster family lost contact. This brings us to the young Korean girl at the door.
Her name is Grace, and she is James's daughter. Three and a half decades later my mother was reunited with her foster family. Ma had passed on, but her legacy is living on to this day.
James visited us here in the US, and shared about his ministry in Vietnam.
So here I am, decades later, going to do missions work with James.
I'm so excited to go and do ministry there. Some of the things I'll be doing are teaching English to children at churches, working with a Korean mission team in Vacation Bible School for the kids, and just serving at a few of the local churches there. I want to help grow and take care of these churches in anyway I can.
I've been working these past few months cleaning my church to raise as much money as I can. They've blessed me in a huge way at Way of Life Community Church and this job will help me pay for a large portion of my trip. But, I'm still in need of a bit more funds to live on while I'm there.
So here are the two things that I am asking for with this page:
1. Monetary support, because a growing boy's gotta eat =)
Here's a general look at my budget:
-Flight: $1700 (Approximate amount being raised through Church Cleaning)
-Food and Living Expenses: $1000
-Ministry Expenses (Teaching Materials, Lesson Aids, etc.): $300
2. This one is actually more important and I wish I could have some sort of "Goal Amount" for, and that is prayer. Of course my goal would read, "Goal Amount: Infinity, and Beyond" or something like that. I'm not sure who I'm going to encounter and I want God to guide my words and actions every step of the way. I want to make sure that I am being as effective as possible to bring His love into their lives.
And if nothing else, can I remind you of something? Going to another country doesn't necessarily make someone a missionary. If you are sitting in a classroom, construction site, or office cubical and you spread the love of God through your words/actions, then my friend you are living the mission. Your life has more weight to those around you than you may realize.
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