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Faith in action for July 22

July 22, 2011
By the Rev. Wesley Johnson , Marshall Independent

Wesley United Methodist Church

This past May, 12 youth and four adults from Wesley United Methodist Church in Marshall went to Dungannon, Northern Ireland to work with Youth for Christ at the invitation of Krystal Mohn. We spent months raising what ended up being nearly $20,000. In the past our youth have done a lot of physical labor helping with painting, or cleaning up places as well as some children's ministry. This trip focused on interacting with all ages by sharing their faith, encouraging people, and being a part of a cultural exchange of ideas and life.

Team members prepared themselves, spiritually, relationally and emotionally for this outreach. It was bathed in prayer by many people at the church. Each team member had a prayer partner intentionally lifting them up in prayer. Every meal time had people signed up at Wesley UM church to be praying for the mission team and trip. There were several times we could really see God protecting and guiding us through the prayers of so many people. Our trip over to Northern Ireland went fairly smoothly even though it was long.

A wonderful time happened when we were starting a team devotional time while in the waiting room at the Charlotte, N.C. airport. Two women approached us and asked to pray for us after finding out we were going on a mission trip. They were just returning from a Christian Conference and felt God tugging at them to share their faith and their prayers. Numerous times in Dungannon God moved in our team members' hearts to strengthen them for what they were to do or to really change their hearts for what God wanted to do.

Our travel home was much more complicated but God gave us a positive spirit in the midst of a great deal of stress and uncertainty. In the end we all made it to Marshall with all our baggage, not a small feat.

Mission experiences move us out of our comfort zones and they inspire us to be bolder in proclaiming our faith in Jesus Christ. When you are on a mission team you are clear that your primary purpose is to serve others and to share with them the gospel of Jesus Christ in deed and word. You don't get sidetracked as easily by your own wants and desires. Powerful things happen because of this focused purpose and commitment. All of us need to put our faith in action at home as well as when we go off for a mission trip. Our prayer at Wesley UMC is for all of us to be on a lifetime mission trip for Christ our Lord until we return home to be with Jesus in heaven.



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