Because of who they were, I get to be who I am.
In less than two weeks I will be boarding a plane to Africa for my 6th Missions trip. The trip is a Medical Mission in Sapele, Nigeria. I’m excited about the mission but I’d be a little less than truthful if I didn’t also mention that I’m a little concerned about the cultural differences and the food. My second missions trip this year is a Women’s Prison Retreat held at the end of September on a camp ground a few hours outside of Charlotte, NC. Because these women are currently incarcerate, I am not allowed to provide specific details. I can say that there are 5 women prisons in North Carolina and 15 women from each facility can attend the retreat. The retreat is an awesome opportunity to encourage, uplift and pour into the lives of women who are currently incarcerated and help them look forward to a fresh start.
People often ask me, how did you get into mission work? Their comments range from, that’s a good thing you’re doing, I can’t belief you’re doing that, I couldn‘t do that, I can’t be away from my family that long, I don’t have the money for that, I don’t have the time or the Infamous comments of what else I should be doing with my time. The list goes on and on.
The truth is the ability to service is a God given gift that runs in my family. I didn’t just wake up one day and decided that I was going to be a missionary or serve people. God planted that gift inside of me, and my family and community nurtured that gift and gave me an opportunity to use it.
My grandmother, Eva Rice was born on September 20, 1927. She reside in the Choppee community located in Georgetown South Carolina most of her life. She was a Missionary, a Midwife, a Farmer and a mother of 13 (8 boys, 5 girls). She attended Hopewell Baptist Church but she also had a missionary church built behind her house that she operated out of.
I often think about my grandmother and how she helped people, how she provided opportunities for folks to work, and feed their families. She was a missionary and her children were missionaries (of sorts). It may have been forced on them initiallly but they learned how to serve and give to others and they taught us.
My mom, Julie Warren was born September 23, 1948. She was born and raised in Georgetown County. She migrated up north, as many people of color did back then in search of opportunities and a better way of life. My mom is a Deaconess at the House of God Church in Hemingway, a business owner, a Sunday School Superintendent, and she currently work with the missionaries in her local church. My mom had 4 kids (2 girls, 2 boys).
Growing up I remember my mom cooking and inviting families over for dinner (normally Sundays) after church. I remember people staying with us during revivals. These revivals were nothing like the revivals that we have now. They were at least 2 weeks long but they could go on for 3 or 4 weeks. People would come from all over to attend these revivals. I remember her giving clothing and other household items to people when they were in need. On Saturdays, when I should have been outside playing, she would send me to the homes of some of the elderly ladies in the community to help them do chores. These chores varied from hanging out clothes to cooking, cleaning and baking. I hated it at first but then I started to look forward to helping them. I even added 1 or 2 people that she didn’t send me to help.
In John14:12, it says, I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works……..
My entire life, I‘ve had a front row seat to missionaries in action. Now I get to make my contributions to the world just as they did. I am grateful that I know my purpose and I partner with other churches and agencies to carry out the greater works that Jesus spoke about🤩