by Donna Felts
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”Matthew 6:33
In 2020, Bob & I signed up to join the first ever LHC mission trip to Navajo Nation in Bloomfield, NM. Having gotten just a glimpse of the poverty and desolation of this tribe during some of our visits to the area prompted us to want to “do something”. Matthew West’s song “Do Something” always comes to mind. So, we ‘did something’ and signed up to go along with 6 others. Three days before the trip was to depart, it had to be canceled due to the ongoing covid restrictions. We would have to reschedule for next year.
In 2021, Bob & I signed up again … this time we were not feeling ‘called’, but more along the lines that if it was important last year, it should still be important this year. This time, we were 2 of 12 people to go! Woo hoo! The team increased. Amazingly, on the Wednesday before the trip was to depart, members of the team came down with covid. Again, the trip was canceled.
As I sit here in August of 2023, I realize that covid had nothing to do with the postponing of our trip. It was the Lord saying, ‘not yet’. It’s as if He were saying, I am still doing a great work and preparing the hearts and minds of those I want on the trip.
So, here in 2023, 20 of us were called to go to New Mexico! Was it because of a heart for the Navajo? Perhaps for some. Was it that the timing fit this year? Perhaps for others. Was there really no reason except that we are willing to serve? Perhaps! But, either way, it was God himself who said … Now I have assembled the children that I want to go!
For what happened next, there is no human explanation! God assembled the perfect team! He brought together those who had organizational skills, those who had manual skills, those who had a gift of mercy, and those who had a gift of servanthood. He assembled the jokesters, the prayer warriors, the muscle, and the might. However, there was one thing the entire team had …. A strong desire to serve Him in all ways!
The group Consumed by Fire has a song titled “First things First”; the chorus in this song says”
“First thing’s first, I seek Your will, not my own, surrender all my wants
To you. Keep the first thing first, to live Your truth, walk Your ways,
Set my eyes, Lord I fix my face on You. All my desires reversed, to
Keep the first things first”.
In other words, seek first the Kingdom of God …. And then all my wants, desires and motives will be focused on you and for Your glory. ‘Your glory … my gain’ (thank you, We are Messengers)!
Do you know what can happen when we seek first His glory? Well, let me list them for you … you can paint, organize, freshen up an entire school with its classrooms, library, art room, kitchen! You can implement a master key lock system which includes over 43 doors! You can minister to 12 Navajo ladies, creating an environment where they are comfortable laughing, crying, sharing, and praying. You can remodel a missionary’s kitchen, bringing both new life to her as well as the walls. You can host the biggest game party imaginable serving dinner to over 150 people! You can bring smiles to children’s faces as they get new school supplies! You can have your teens share their hearts with complete strangers. You can level dishwashers, paint fireplaces, fix metal roofs, and even do everyone’s laundry. You can feed 20 people three meals a day including dessert for the entire week. You can explore both the high desert and the high mountains. You can laugh, cry, pray, and serve each other. And, when you leave, you have a connection stronger than glue and look forward to the next trip!
During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminded us: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.” (Mathew 5:16)
His glory … our gain!
My final thought is this: what if in every way we sought His kingdom first and let our light shine? What would that mean in our relationships with others – family, business, church, strangers? My connection with our mission team has little to do with me … it has everything to do with Him. He called us to mission and commanded us to love one another through our actions and deeds.
1 John 4:7 … “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” That is my prayer for each of us.
New Mexico Mission Trip Testimonies & Photos