Displaying The Gospel Here At Home

photos from The Echo Group, Inc.

The other day I read a news article about a 5th grader named Ruby that came up with an idea to bless the residents of the nursing home where her mother works. One day, when waiting on her mom got too boring for Ruby, she decided to start talking to some of the residents, and from those conversations came an idea that has garnered her national attention.  She started a project called "Three Wishes for Ruby's Residents" and began compiling a list of three things for which each resident of the nursing home would wish.

Their requests were for things that were so ordinary and simple we often take them for granted. But it got me thinking about the many ordinary and simple things we can do in our own community that would make a world of difference. With Spring Break mission trips and Easter already on the horizon, March is a great time to focus on community outreach and local service projects.

A passion for missions doesn't always have to take you overseas. The Great Commission is all-encompassing, sending some to other countries, but challenging many of us to serve as missionaries right here at home. Local missions are the diversified efforts of a local church to supply the love and justice of Christ to its own culture, and many of you are probably already volunteering in ways that would fall into this category. By becoming more intentional with what you do and how you do it, you can create mission opportunities that display the glory and worth of the Gospel to the people in your daily lives.

If you're not sure where to start, you can find some inspiration and instruction at the #ForStarkville Wall in the Commons. There will be information for who to contact, different ways you can volunteer and serve, and other suggestions to encourage you to go out into the community with the gospel message. My challenge to you is to find at least one thing on the #ForStarkville Wall that you or your family can do during Spring Break to bless our community. Don't let the people going to Victoria, Marks, or Belize have all of the fun. 

The Great Commission
is all-encompassing,
sending some to other countries,
but challenging many of us
to serve as missionaries
right here at home.

Here are a few of the opportunities that you will find on the #ForStarkville Wall:

Habitat for Humanity:

One of the ways you can volunteer with Habitat for Humanity is by joining with them in renovating its new ReStore location. The Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity Resale store is entirely volunteer run and donation driven. They receive donations from the community and turn around and sell the items to other community members. All of the proceeds go to building materials for a Habitat home.

Every Friday, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, they have Reno Workdays where they need help with everything from demoing, framing walls, painting, and moving sale items! No experience is required. Contact Olivia Nutting at vc.starkvillehabitat@gmail.com 

or 386-837-8775.

You can also find other building and volunteer opportunities on their volunteer calendar. Go to starkvillehabitat.com/volunteer

Peter's Rock Food Pantry:

Peter's Rock Temple COGIC's Food Pantry needs volunteers to help bag food for their weekly distribution every Tuesday between the hours of 11:00 am - 2:00 pm. They are also in need of volunteers to help during their food distribution every Wednesday between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. 

To volunteer, please contact Missionary Betty Young at the food pantry on Tuesdays between the hours of 11:00 am - 2:00 pm at 662-615-4493. 

Noxubee Wildlife Refuge:

Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge is seeking volunteers to perform general refuge cleaning, landscaping, and minor maintenance duties to maintain visitors center and adjacent refuge grounds. You can also volunteer with Visitor Services, helping to run and clean the Refuge visitor center, answer questions, act as receptionist and selling permits both during the week and on weekends.

If interested in volunteering, contact Taylor Hackemack, taylor_hackemack@fws.gov or call 662-323-5548.

Christine Ellis