Why Arlington? This is a question that goes through the head of many a summer missionary after receiving an appointment emails. I will not lie and say I was ecstatic when I read the email with my assignment. Instead, I felt disappointed and a bit frustrated. I found myself asking: “Why Arlington, God? Don’t you know that I live an hour away from there?”
Wow, our own selfish ambitions really do change the way we see God’s plans. Yet, doesn’t God always show up and show off when we let him work? I am so glad I chose to follow God’s path for my life and not my feelings of disappointment.
What God is doing through Mission Arlington is incredible. Lives constantly are being filled with Christ’s love through this ministry. God has humbled me through this place and these people, and it has been life changing.
While I have been here, God has been answering my initial question with an even stronger message: “Why not Arlington?” Should missions stop at our neighbor’s door? How can we fly across seas, ready to share the gospel and meet needs in other nations, but leave our communities in Texas to fend for themselves. Believe it or not, there are people in Texas who have never heard the true gospel. These people are our next-door neighbors. Who will tell them? We pass people everyday in the streets who hunger for food, but also for hope. That hope that they yearn for can only be found in Christ, but who will tell them?
I know I am placing a lot of questions out there, but God has been teaching me by placing these questions in my mind as I serve the people of Dallas/Fort Worth. Therefore, I will end with more questions. My challenge to you is to humble yourselves and look around you. What needs can you meet this week? What child needs some extra attention and love? What mother of four needs diapers, wipes and formula? What former inmate needs direction and help getting back on his feet?
We take these lives for granted and tend to leave needy people in our communities to fend for themselves. But we will go across seas to share the gospel and meet needs. So, why not in your hometown? Why not your schools? Why not the state of Texas?
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”(Romans 10:14-15).
Shannon Peterson is a student from Texas A&M University-Commerce, serving with Go Now Missions at Mission Arlington.