My step-dad is known for saying, "Your mission field is right between your two feet." I thought these words really hit home for this issue's topic.
I've always had the desire to be a missionary and teach children. But God has really shown me that I need to be a missionary at home before I go to another country. It seems ideal to be surrounded by thirsty souls you've never met before, willing to submit their lives to God. It seems less glamorous to live amount people you've known most of your life, and who seem to have to awareness of their need for Christ. When I understood that God wanted me to be a witness to people in my own backyard, I knew I had to make a change. I began wondering how God could use me to be a missionary to family, friends, and strangers here in Wisconsin.
My opportunity arrived when a woman at an Awana club asked if I'd ever considered being a part of the Good News Club. I told her I'd never heard of it. She explained that it is an after-school program in elementary schools which meets weekly for Bible lessons, memory verses, songs, and games. She encouraged me to attend the Club she taught, saying that she'd noticed my gift for relating with kids. It took a large sacrifice of time, but after prayer (and a little encouragement from mom J), I went to the Club. It was such a privilege to be a part of these kids' spiritual growth and have one-on-one time to get to know them.
After my first year of Good News Club, I was presented with an even larger decision. The teacher of our club was retiring and could no longer run it. I would not have ever volunteered taking on the responsibility of leading the Club: teaching a lessons every other week was more than enough! But she basically told me she had faith that I could take the job and they didn't know anyone else who could do it. In my flesh, I was screaming, "Lord, there's no possible way I could get the materials, go to all the meetings, prepare all the lessons, have the attendance and name tags ready, have prizes, make all these copies, call all the parentsó" On and on the excuses went. God must have chuckled as He heard my whining, and He answered, "Brittany, between school, family, activities, and chores, I know You can't. But I can."
So, to make a long story short, two years later I'm still running the Good News Club at Green Tree School. I wouldn't go back to that first summer of preparation, but this second year it was so much easier! God has provided me with some fantastic, reliable helpers. I've seen Him form me into a missionary in my own back yard, and He gave me my heart's desire of working with kids.
The Club has been used to not only reach the public school kids, but also their families and other neighborhood friends. This year I was also a part of J4C Club, which is a Good News Club for middle schoolers. We had a teenager helping there who attended the same club when she was in elementary school! I also had the honor to lead a mom to Christ: she attended the Club with her son each week. It touches my heart to see her writing notes from the lessons, memorizing the verses with her son, and doing daily devotions with him.
It hasn't always been exactly as I want it, however. We had a drop in attendance form last year, we lost two helpers, and some parents don't allow their children to come. But I thank God He is in control of who is a part of our Club. All He wants of me is to continue serving Him, even if only one child comes.
Now, I wouldn't be telling the truth if I said I no longer feel a desire to go to another country and be a missionary. I am content, however, to be a light in America and serve wherever God needs me most.