Happy New Year! This is my inaugural blog for our Murrieta Missions Team. My goal is to keep our congregation and all interested viewers up to date on what is going on in the Mission Field; here in the Murrieta Community as well as our greater Methodist connection and the missionaries we support. My hope is that you will find ways you can serve others.
I would like to share a story I never get tired of hearing, from Tom Pilkington, one of our members and a man with a huge heart for serving. Tom will be heading up our Great Day of Service again this year and you can find him driving volunteers out to Joshua Tree every quarter to feed the people there, teaching Bible Study each Friday at the Food Pantry and generally just about anywhere God’s work needs to be done. I asked Tom to recount the story of how he first became interested in mission work, here are his words.
“You also asked for a quote…I’ve told the story a lot….and it usually goes something like this:
I was a pew sitter when it came to missions until one day about 7 years ago I tentatively put my hand up to help with Hurricane Katrina relief…not to go to Mississippi mind you, but to drive part of the team to the airport and pick them up again. The day came for them to leave…I remember taking the pickup truck so I could carry their luggage along with five people squeezed into the truck. The five people carried on a great conversation about family, church, weather, and normal stuff…we waved goodbye at the airport and I drove home.
The surprise came when I went back to pick them up. While the people had the same names, and generally looked the same…they were different. The conversation in the car was about the people they had met, their stories, the compassion…yes, love that they felt for the people there. They talked a lot about God and how they felt God was with them, how they felt His presence, how God had protected the people. They were the same bodies, but it seemed as though different souls filled the bodies. The trip and their experiences had changed their lives. I told Jeanie…”I want some of that”. From that day to this, I have been convinced that Mission changes lives…we go to help the people at the mission destination but the strange and wonderful thing is that the people who go get helped even more. Since then I’ve been on several mission trips to Haiti, Hurricane Sandy relief, and many trips to Joshua Tree…and I now know firsthand how wonderful the feeling is. God has changed my life through mission…changed it profoundly for the good and I hope it lasts forever.”
Your friend in Christ,
God works in all of us. What is your story?