Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Mission Field by Angie Frantz

As a new born-again Christian in college, I used to listen with awe and wonder to testimony given by missionaries visiting my church each month. How awesome that God had called these people to 'all the ends of the earth'! Unfortunately, I had neither the time, financial means, or the leading from the Lord to follow into 'the mission field'.

Or so I thought...

A few years ago, I was talking with a friend about missions work. In her 'pre-mommy' days, she and her husband had the chance to go on a missions trip. Now that she was a stay-at-home-mom, she wondered if she'd be able to go on another missions trip in the near future.

I realized in that moment that as moms, our missions field looks dramatically different than those served by our brothers and sisters in far-away lands. Our missions field includes a living room cluttered with toys, sinks filled with dirty dishes, and piles of laundry scattered throughout a house bustling with the sound of children. Certainly, the ends of the earth includes the very homes in which we are raising our children. This field, where our missions work takes place, is just as sacred and meaningful as a field in South America or Africa.

From time to time, we as Christians are called to step boldly forward and say "Lord, send me". When we humble ourselves to His plans for us, the results can sometimes take us by surprise. The missions field in which I am now serving is one such example.

When I was almost six months pregnant with my second son, I had an experience that has changed my life forever. I clearly remember sitting at a stop light near my home in the middle of a conversation with God. (Doesn't the Lord choose interesting times to 'talk' with us?) I remember feeling so humbled and saying "Lord, here I am. Send me." I had no idea what would happen next.

Three months later, Ian was born. While we were thrilled to welcome him into our family, we were surprised to learn that he has Down syndrome. I wasn't sure what to make of his diagnosis. Somehow, I knew the Lord would give us the strength. What I didn't know at the time, was how the Lord would use this situation for His glory.

In the 14 months since Ian's birth, I have clearly seen God use my son (and me) in amazing ways. I am a stronger person now, and have found myself in awe of the true miracle of life. My personal missions field has expanded from beyond the four walls of my home. Every day, Ian and I are teaching those around us not only about Down syndrome, but about the great love of God.

I truly believe my son will have an amazing testimony to give as he grows older. For now, however, we are missionaries in a very 'mobile' field. Every trip we make outside our home - whether to church, the store, or the park - is another opportunity to share with others.

Next time you find yourself looking around the house at the 'mess', stop. Look again. The 'field' you are standing in really is sacred ground. We are raising godly men and women who will do great things for the Lord!

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