EveryOne:Reaching Farther Together
A Home Missionary's daughter thinks back over her life as an MK and what it taught her...
by Janice Donoho
Learn more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist Home Missions at www.homemissions.net.
He sat alone at his desk quietly eating his sandwich. No one talked to him. He was tall, overweight, and pale-skinned with fiery red hair and wire-rimmed glasses. You could tell his clothes were not name brands, nor did he look like other teenage boys. After talking with him for a few moments, it was apparent something was different about Andy.
This difference caused him to be an outcast of sorts from his fellow students. My heart went out to my classmate as I watched him eat his lunch alone—surrounded by classmates yet ignored by everyone. My brother and I were new to the school, and we weren’t sure exactly how to approach this strange boy.
My family and I had recently moved to the area to plant a church. When the youth leaders planned a youth outing to try to build up our youth group, my brother and I decided to invite our new classmates and friends. On a whim, my brother invited Andy to join us. To everyone’s surprise, he showed up for the evening of pizza, bowling, and ice cream.
That night we learned more about Andy. His parents had abandoned him as a baby, and he lived with his grandparents. They didn’t go to church but sent him to Christian school so he would “stay out of trouble.” Our hearts were saddened for this boy, and the youth group befriended him. Eventually, he began to come to church on a regular basis. He became deeply involved our church family and found a place to belong.
Throughout the next year Andy blossomed into a confident, strong person who wanted to live for the Lord. Perhaps it wasn’t his strong point, but Andy loved music and loved to sing before the church. When he sang, it was clear that he sang only to the Lord. God’s presence moved among our congregation. It was evident that lives were touched and changed through my classmate’s love for his Lord.
I learned early in my parent’s home missions ministry that my brother and I were missionaries as well. We realized that we could reach people like Andy more easily than our parents. We made it our goal to invite our friends to church, and to share the gospel with them when possible.
It was an awesome sight to see them come to church, and sometimes their parents would come, too. Most exciting was when they gave their hearts to the Lord. It was a wonderful feeling knowing we had a hand in building the Kingdom for Christ.
Now that I work in the Home Missions Department, I have a special place in my heart for missionary children. I understand what they go through. I understand what it’s like to leave your home to move to a place where you don’t know anyone. I also understand what an amazing opportunity these children have. They are missionaries too. The role they play is important, and they have a great responsibility to witness and win people to Christ. These children are the future leaders of our churches, our denomination, and our nation.
They need our support, encouragement, and prayer during these vital years. It can be difficult growing up in today’s world. It isn’t easy for kids to stand up for what is right and to be the example and shining light their peers need to see. Today’s world is filled with pressures and temptations. Yet with our prayer and encouragement, these children will be awesome warriors for Christ, playing an important role in leading others to the throne of grace.
About the Writer: In the last few issues of ONE Magazine, the Home Missions Department has featured articles written by missionary kids across the nation. As a former HMK, Janice has a special place in her heart for this unique group of young people. She currently serves as secretary to Richard Atwood, director of Missionary Assistance. Learn more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist Home Missions at www.homemissions.net.