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Posted: January 31, 2013 10:10 p.m.

Living out loud: Missionaries...every day

“Be glad in the Lord always!Again I say, be glad! Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.

From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:4-9

(New Living Translation)

This time last week, I was preparing these words for a Friday morning devotion in Honduras. It had been a full week of building latrines, teaching Bible school, and building bridges and relationships with people in a small village in the Agalta Valley. As we prepared to leave, however, I began to think about the ways in which we were all somehow different by having spent some of our time in the village, and how we could use that experience to make a difference in our daily lives.

Some of us had mixed concrete without using cement mixers. Some of us had met together with people in their adobe two room homes which had only window holes and curtains. Most of us had been part of constructing latrines or “outhouses” as we would call them. But I had come to realize that there were parts of life in Honduras that were much like our lives here in the U.S. We had spent a week learning about our differences and realizing that we all have the same needs, hopes and dreams.

The Apostle Paul had shared in his mission with the Philippian church, and as he recalled his time with them, he issued them some challenges which included their controlling their behavior and focusing their frame of mind. He challenged them to be the best that they could be, trusting in God, and holding themselves to high standards of thinking right, acting right, and treating others right. As we headed for the airplane, I issued similar challenges to our group which were summed up this way:

1. Take what you have learned so that you can teach others.

2. Continue to grow in your relationship with God every day, not just on Sundays.

3. Continue to reach out to others with the message of God’s love in verbal and tangible ways.

4. Continue to work in mission to the world. As John Wesley taught, “The world is our parish.”

Everyone on that mission trip was changed in some way, and we were all blessed so that we can be blessings to others. We are all missionaries in this world, on a mission to tell everyone about the love of God for us. We don’t have to go to a third world country or across the globe to share God’s love with others. Our parish begins at home and branches out from there. The world is our parish.

How are you fulfilling your mission to share the love of Christ with others where you are?

Rev. Jan McCoy is the associate pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at

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