A missionary disguised as a handyman

I ran into him at an office supply store where I was buying a calendar for the new year.

As soon as I saw him, my heart lifted. I know him to be a friend and supporter of missionaries…including me. I also know him to be one of the best handymen in the business. He’s been to my house many times to make up for my domestic incompetence… and usually makes sure I don’t pay too much. I love this guy. I’ve broken bread with him in his home. He’s special to me.

“Hey man, it’s great to see you!” I said as I unashamedly hugged this bearded 50-something year-old man right in front of the store clerk. “What are you doing?”

“Getting my life for together for the new year,” he said, smiling holding up a calendar.

“Me too, though I’m not so confident about getting my life together anytime soon,” I said with a twinkle in my eye and a smile on my face… joking…but not really. “I just talked to Stacy about having you help me with my honey-do list for the year,” I said hopefully.

He said, “I’d be glad to help you with that list. But check this out. I’m not going to do the handyman thing much longer. I just don’t have enough time and energy to do all that needs to be done to do the business side of it by myself.”

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“So what are you going to do?” I asked, starting to feel slightly alarmed at the possibility of not having his help with my honey-do list.

“Well, you know I’m in a small group with [names a prominent and respected Christian man in the business]. He offered to hire me at a very wonderful salary… and I could do what I’m basically doing right now without all the headaches of the business side of things.”

I said, “Hey, that’s great. So that’s what you’re going to do then?

“Well, no. I prayed about it and I sensed God wanted me to join a couple of other guys. These two guys are real close to beginning a relationship with God… but they’re not quite there yet.”

I gently slapped him on the left arm and said, “Wow, I can’t think of a better guy to help them on their journey. Are you getting a similar deal with these guys?”

“Yes and no. Yes to doing what I do best without having the headaches of the business stuff. No to the really wonderful salary part.” Then he paused, looked me square in the eyes and said with humility and conviction, “I just think this is something God wants me to do…and we both know this whole journey isn’t about money.”

A man on a mission…a mission from God

Wow. Here I am in an office supple store, minding my own business, and God shows up. I knew the words were coming from my friend, but my spirit sensed I was hearing directly from the very heart of God (Luke 15). This guy is not just a highly skilled handyman who is at the beck and call of the highest bidder.

He’s a missionary disguised as a handyman.

Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s a nice story, Allison. But what does it have to do with me?”

Everything. But probably nothing. And that’s precisely the problem.

So much more than a handyman

Think about it. Are you living to just make a living…or are you living to make disciples? You were created for so much more than to just make a living (Eph. 2:10). You are so much more than what you do for a living. If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are a man or woman on a mission…a mission given to you by God (Matt. 28:19). So I dare you to embrace your biblical identity as a missionary.

Here’s your first step! Fill in the blank:

“I’m a missionary disguised as a _________________________.”

If you really want to move from living to just make a living to living to make disciples, like my handyman/missionary friend in the story above…

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Taking a missions trip home

Many of us get excited about the opportunities of summer ministry – especially missions trips. And rightly so. It can be a life-changing experience for you and your students. After we get home, we’re excited about giving even more students an experience in missions.

A world beyond

If you’re like me, you’re constantly wanting to expose your students to the world beyond themselves. Middle schoolers can be self-centered. Thinking of others as more important than self (Philippians 2) is a quality we pray for middle schoolers often—and a missions trip is a great way to help students grow in their concern for others.

And yet…overseas trips are typically off-limits for such young students. Even out-of-town trips can be expensive or beyond parents’ comfort level. Often our churches simply don’t have the funds or leadership in place for a missions trip every year.

But we don’t want our kids to miss out on the exposure, the people, the time with God and the friendships we experienced on a trip. I am different because of these times captured in my heart and mind, and I want our students to experience this change, too. But how do we make a missions trip happen when the church is in a financial crunch or students aren’t able to earn enough money to go?

Taking a trip without the travel

A few years ago, this was the cry of my heart for our students! I spent much time in prayer, fasting and sitting quietly before God, seeking his way for our summer of middle school ministry. And God began to give me the idea for a missions trip at home.

A “Missions at Home” trip costs little money and little of you! High school students, parents and other leaders can simply come alongside you to make sure the experience is one to last a lifetime. That summer God gave me a passion for reaching our community for Christ like never before.

What is your heart’s cry for your students to experience next summer? What is God nudging you to do about it?