One of my friends and fellow YAM (young adult missionary, great acronym right?) recently wrote a post on her blog entitled “Engaged in Life”. In this post, Erica discusses how her life is “engaged in ministry.” I thoroughly enjoyed her post but it also got me thinking about the variety of ways that I am “engaged in ministry.” So I wanted to add my thoughts to the idea of “mission work.”
This is my life?
I have thought to myself “this is my life??” at least once a week from the time that I arrived in HK. Like Erica, I find that more often and than not I am not doing mission work in the traditional sense. I spend a significant portion of my time “standing in solidarity” and “integrating with the migrants.” What does that mean exactly? A number of people have asked me, what do you do on Sundays? Honestly, I generally don’t DO anything on Sundays. (There are a number of exceptions when I have been organizing large events and such) But here’s a typical Sunday: we eat lunch, snacks, sometimes dinner. We dance, we chat, we take photos (lots of photos). We share stories. I learn about their lives in HK, in the Philippines, I tell them about my family (esp. my niece and nephew) and show them photos. I play with Lila (she is my co-worker’s two year daughter).
I fully internalized this feeling at a recent migrant event, the Migrante Victory Party. I had the opportunity to spend the night at the beach with a few migrants and then attend the beach party the following day. As I sat building sand castles with Lila, I thought to myself “is this really my life?” “How can that be?” “This is my job???” Later, as I was swimming with some of the Filipino domestic workers and playing games with them, I realized that these women have become my mothers, sisters and friends.
So now you might be thinking, “that’s great Katie. I’m glad you found acceptance and welcome, but I’m still not seeing the mission part or the work part!” If mission is sharing the love of Christ, that’s exactly what I’m doing. My presence and existence reminds these women that others care about them. It places them within a larger context and aligns them with global fight against discrimination, violence against women, and the fight for fair wages. They are not alone, and someone who lives 8,000 miles away from them cares about their happiness and well-being. How would you feel if someone 8,000 miles away from you said “I care about you.” “I’m praying for you and I will stand with you as you fight injustice, even if I don’t always understand it, I’m with you”? To me, that might be the most powerful way to share the love of Christ.