When I returned from my maiden missions trip, I couldn't/wouldn't speak.
I was asked several times how I enjoyed the trip and I couldn't answer - I could only respond with tears. Several people, clearly misinformed, assumed it was more of a vacation than anything else. So when inquiries were met with tears I'm sure the word on the street was, "Kyra has lost it."
When I left for Kenya I believed missions was good for kingdom building and the great commission. When I returned I understood that missionary endeavors are tied to the very heart of God.
I came to the realization that the Isaiah 61:1-3 passage was not only for Jesus (Luke 4:16-21), but for all that believe in Him and His atonement. Matthew 28:19 is not just something you quote on missions Sunday - every fifth Sunday that occurs in the calendar - but it is to be lived out everyday. God hasn't just given us suggestions in His word on how to relate to and treat one another as in Matthew 25:35-40. He has given us a mandate to be followed.
Give drink to the thirsty, clothes to the naked, take care of the orphaned, look out for the widow, do and seek justice for the exploited, mend the broken hearted, make the captives free...
All of this realization didn't come easy or all at once. It happened through prayer, searching myself and continuing to "go therefore" ...
I went to New Orleans 3 years after hurricane Katrina hit. I was shocked, appalled and ashamed that here in the United States of America, the number one foreign aid giver and world leader, such devastation still existed in its own backyard.
He wants us to be His hands and feet. He wants us to show the world His compassion, His love.
He wants the broken hearted to experience the oil of gladness.
He wants us to be foster parents or adopt if we can.
He wants us to give a widow, in a patriarchal society, self-respect by offering her a means by which she can support herself.
He wants us to tell the captives that there is a God in Heaven that came down to earth just for them so that they can be free!
He wants you to pray through having lice put on your body to show a street kid that he is loved.
He wants you to use your gifts, your talents and, yes, your resources to give dignity to women, living with HIV/AIDS, who have nothing but a tin roof over their head and the certainty of death.
He wants to use you.
He wants to use me.
He wants to use all of us called by His name to accomplish it.
He may not call you to go to the other side of the globe, but He may call you to go downtown. He may not call you to go the next city or the next state over, but He might call you to cross our borders ...
Whenever and wherever He may call, will you go?
Will you be used as a willing vessel to bring good news to the afflicted?
Will you pray for your marching orders?
And when you hear them, what will your response be?
Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8 NASB)
Just Around The Corner,