In September 2015 God called me to short-term missions work in the small town of Barrouallie, St. Vincent, eventually accepting the call to full-time missions there in January 2016. One of my favorite things about Barouallie is the fact that it’s a small town, so most ministries are community are relationship based.
While there are some planned ministries such as Bible Club, Bible Studies, Church services, or visitation ministries the majority of missions work is more relational.
- Sharing the Gospel during my morning or evening walks
- Small talk with unsaved friends in the evening
- playing with children in the park every afternoon
- Handing out glasses of water and telling Bible stories
- or visiting with Church members
My ministry day is basically separated into the morning (focused on study, reading, and writing) then 3:00 to about 6:00 or 7:00 is centered on face to face ministry, so it shouldn’t be surprising that 3:00 in the afternoon is my favorite time of day 🙂 There’s definitely a place for Bible study and development of sermon or discipleship material, but being a relational person I excitedly look forward to 3:00 every day.
And it’s also why I hate rainy days.
Saint Vincent is known for it’s quick rainstorms that come up “out of nowhere” and pass quickly. But recently we’ve been experiencing rainy days that include heavy or constant rain from the early afternoon till night. Days like this have little face to face ministry since most of the Vincy’s stay inside, and I do as well. There’s no sense in looking for ministry opportunities when nobodies around.
Rainy days are annoying for me since they take away my discipleship opportunities but thankfully they don’t come very often. Last week was rough however because we had three straight days of heavy rain which meant three days without Bible Club, stories, or evangelism 😦
Thursday afternoon when it became clear rain was calling off ministry for the third day I grabbed an umbrella and took a walk (more to calm myself than anything else) and in my heart had the following conversation with God.
- Me: God it’s not fair for the third day I’m not able to minister in Barrouallie!
- God: John who made the rain?
- Me: Well you did Lord
- God: and do you think I control the rain?
- Me: Of you course you do God
- God: So whether it rains or not is part of my plan right?
- Me: ( Feeling a little embarrassed) Yes it does
- God: John I love you as my child, and sometimes that love means giving hours of sharing the Gospel and discipleship. Other days it means spending extra time reading Church-growth books, studying Scripture, praying, and preparing discipleship material. The important thing to understand is the rainy days when you don’t meet with anyone is just as important as the ones you spend teaching others…sometimes even more important
Yesterday it stopped raining and my porch once again became a place for Bible stories, and Gospel presentations, along with cups of water or the occasional cup of coffee and I’m incredibly grateful. But it’s a blessing to know rainy days without face to face ministry come from the same God who provides the sunny ones.