Maybe you are considering serving the Lord through a short-term missions trip! The Miller family took and repeated this step, and have grown in gratitude for the experience. Here are some of the benefits they have seen as a result.
1) Gospel-centered Relationships. SOS strives to make the gospel visible through a consistent loving presence in Uganda. Anthony Basaba oversees community outreach for SOS. Seeing Anthony’s relational gifting in action convinced the Millers that SOS was a place where they could express the gospel in daily routine and service. They’ve made five trips, and have seen their own consistency contribute to Anthony’s example. The Millers now have a lasting relational impact on the Ugandan community that surrounds SOS Ministries.
2) Clearer vision of our own culture. Kara Miller shares how the scales fall from our eyes as we see our own culture in light of the Ugandan culture. What we value is challenged by immersing ourselves in another environment. Each time we return, we have the chance to see more clearly what the Lord is asking us to lay aside to accomplish his purposes in our own culture. How can I simplify my life and schedule to be more available to serve those around me?
3) Overcoming messy lives with love. Cultures are messy all over the world. Going to Uganda allowed the Millers to lovingly, consciously engage in the struggles in Uganda, and bring biblical hope and encouragement. The gospel speaks hope to all cultures everywhere. Even our short-term presence allows us to discuss how God can transform our homes, marriages, habits and community. God’s Word has the answers for the human heart in every culture.
4) A heart for the home front. Going to serve in Uganda can encourage us to return home with a new heart for our neighbors on the home front. The boldness required to start a conversation or the initiative to care for a need is strengthened by the experience in Uganda.
5) Death to self. Humility is critical for the spread of the gospel (Philippians 2:1-11). Serving cross-culturally is not an easy thing, and most of us are not in a hurry to sacrifice for others. Yet, this is a major way in which the Holy Spirit matures us. The Miller family learned much about this within their family, as well as how they could better serve in their local church. They returned with a renewed understanding of how their own ministry could be more vital and life-giving to others they interact with on a daily basis.
6) Joy, Joy, Joy. An overwhelming testimony of the Millers was that by sowing self-sacrifice they harvested so much joy! There is great joy in serving others. Maybe you are lacking joy in your Christian walk. Is your testimony one of exuberance for what God is doing in your life today? Like Paul in Acts 21:20, your walk of faith can result in others glorifying God for what he accomplished through you!
7) Transformed lives. Think about the many means God used to bring you to the Truth of your need for salvation. God’s people, transformed by God’s Word, are the only hope for transformed cultures. Thanks to many who have gone and faithfully testified of his Word, God is transforming the people of Kubamitwe. Marriages are rebuilt, families are brought together, violence and abuse are abandoned, and darkness is pushed back. Each day disciples are made and instructed in God’s ways.
8) Equipped to serve. The Miller’s first trip was largely to get the lay of the land, but as they have returned, they have witnessed their three boys grow in serving others (in Uganda and at home). Through the experience, they have discovered how God has gifted and called them. Even now, one of their sons is considering long-term ministry.
9) Trust in God, trust in others. Submission is an incredible blessing to the Body of Christ. The Miller family has learned to trust the missionaries and discovered what the priorities are. If you long to learn submission, go and trust those to whom God is sending you! In the process you become a blessing to them. Through the rigors of such submission, we overcome our fears (will I be safe?, will I be useful? can God provide for me?), and build our trust in God.
10) Living out generosity. God blesses the generous (Proverbs, Matthew, Acts). Being generous with our time, talents and treasure is a testimony of his grace in our lives. The Millers find great joy in giving all three of these things. Their hope is that others would discover the joy of generosity by going and serving, at home or overseas.
If you would like to learn more about how to serve at Sufficiency of Scripture Ministries, please reach out to us. We would love to serve you and your church through this vital ministry. Through such service, we demonstrate the unity of the body around the world.