This last January I had the incredible opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic and work with Pastor Alexis Givens and his church.  Missions are something I feel God has placed on my heart for sometime now, but this season of my life has made any trip difficult.  I have 2 small children and am blessed to stay home with them, but I’ve been full of all the same excuses you might have: time, finances, fear of the unknown, worry in leaving my children, and finding help with the kids while I’m away.

I was asked about going on another trip with our church this last fall, and while I didn’t have the money at the time, I started praying that God would open a door for me to go on a trip.  Shortly before Christmas I received a phone call from my older brother.  He had gone to the Dominican Republic every year for the last several years to help with baseball clinics and minister to kids there, but this year they had decided to focus on a leadership and women’s conference.  He was offering me his spot, thinking I might be of more use there than himself.

I had just found out I was pregnant with our third child, but the trip was at a point where my morning sickness would have subsided.  I told myself that this might be my last opportunity in a long time for something like this, and if I were to miscarry, I would thoroughly regret not going.

A week and a half before the trip I miscarried the baby.  While that was an extremely difficult time, God used the upcoming trip to give me something to focus on and look forward to.

We spent a week ministering: preaching the gospel in a high school, sharing testimonies in neighborhoods, and teaching at the women’s conference.    It stretched me, caused me to trust God more than my everyday life at home, and healed me.  Sharing my testimony about my miscarriage, focusing on others and their needs, and increasing my global view blessed me immensely and reminded me how incredibly fortunate we are to live where we live.

If you’ve ever felt like there was a place in your heart for missions, I would encourage you to take the first few steps to getting involved.  You could start by joining a prayer team or speaking with a pastor.  We all have excuses, but God wants to use all of us to reach the least reached.  Giving your time or finances for eternal causes is something you’ll never regret.  We are His hands and feet, and while we go in His name to bless others, we ourselves will be blessed tenfold.

Gwen Hefner