Friday, June 29, 2007

Make Your Own Kind of Ministry

9:20 PM
Sometimes ministry happens when you plan and organize, but sometimes the best ministry happens when you don't expect it. That's what happened today. Rebecca and I were sent into Auckland on the train to do ministry. Armed with a few extra dollars and sidewalk, we prepared to take the city by love.

Our first stop was lunch. As we walked the busy streets and approached a McDonald's, we saw a man outside, sitting on the street, holding a sign proclaiming his hunger. We looked at each other and knew we had found our ministry. We bought our lunches as well as an extra meal for the man. Then we walked outside and asked him if he had yet. He said no, so we gave him the lunch and asked if we could join him. His face lit up when he said yes, of course. We figured a lot of people passed by and dropped some coins, or some snacks, but how many actually stopped to talk. So we did. His name was Paul, and he had been living on the streets of Auckland for a few years now. After a few unfortunate incidents involving robbery and abandonment, he was left with few options but a life on the streets. He said it wasn't too bad until the police made him move. Despite his condition, Paul was pretty upbeat, asking tons of questions about us, what we thought of New Zealand and what we were doing. It was a great opportunity to share what we've been doing these last few weeks. As we were talking, Paul's friend Vickie came up. She has been living on the streets for 18+ years after a beating left her mentally challenged and alone. It was obvious that Vickie and Paul had formed their own kind of homeless community. It showed us how everyone craves community. We were later joined by their friend Steve, who used to live on the streets, but now has a home, but is still sympathetic to the homeless. He was quite friendly also. So here we sat, 3 homeless Kiwis and 2 Americans just talking about life. Who could plan this kind of ministry??

After leaving our street friends, we decided to visit the University of Auckland. We found a spot outside of their campus bookstore and began "chalking" truth and promises of God's love. We tried to make it as bright and cheery as possible, and we ended up covering up a pretty big area. No one really approached us as we were doing it, although I did notice some strange looks from passer-bys. But we believe that even if a tiny seed was planted through those messages, then it was worth it.

So at the end of the day, it was pretty awesome to see God's hand all over our day. He had orchestrated ministry and meetings we never could have planned. We hope to go back in the city and see Paul, Vickie or Steve, as they regularly hang out around the McDonald's. I'm loving this kind of ministry!

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!