They are “accidental” missionaries. David’s son served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala and David had the opportunity to visit that country and meet people living in remote villages.

He was touched by their generous welcome in spite of how little they had in material treasures. Many of them had an open fire pit in their homes for heat and cooking.

Respiratory illness was common, as were serious burn injuries. David met a group of volunteers from the U.S. who were building simple stoves for the villagers and he could see how that was changing lives.

David is quite gifted with his hands; he’s an engineer. But he had no experience building stoves. He lived in Maine. He had family and a job to attend to. He isn’t wealthy. But he couldn’t forget those people and the children living in homes with open fires, so he used his skills to contact that volunteer group he had met in Guatemala and he signed on to return to Guatemala to help build stoves.

He shared his photos and his story with us and we were touched by the need. We helped fund the purchase of some supplies for bricks and blocks and mortar. But Steve was stirred to do more. Last year, Steve joined David in the trip to Guatemala to help with the building. This year they are both going back because they know that what they are doing makes a difference to the people in Guatemala, and that it makes a difference to God.

Being a disciple of Jesus is not just showing up at church on Sunday morning (although that is important). Being a disciple of Jesus is showing up for life. Those whom Jesus calls, he also equips and he expects us to use what we have been given to do something that matters to God.

While I believe it matters to God that some of us give our time and effort to ministries like preaching and teaching, I also believe it matters greatly if people go build stoves for folks who need them or make quilts to keep people warm or buy extra groceries for the food bank. All of us have received the gift of faith and all of us have been given unique ways to express that faith by actively caring for other people as we are able.

Go out into the world today with eyes wide open. Invite the Holy Spirit to lead you into paths of service and discover the joy of being a disciple. Maybe you too will become an “accidental” missionary and change lives (including your own!)

THE REV. REBECCA WEGNER is pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Brunswick.


¦ Local clergy wishing to write should contact Lois Hart at [email protected]

Lay ministers as well as ordained clergy may contribute.

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