Missions begins at home

Via Yio Chu Kang Chapel

Melody Chen // October 15, 2021, 4:36 pm

Screengrab from Ch 8 HeartWarmers programme

Before the current limits on group sizes, Raymond Khoo (right), founder of The Saturday Movement, held weekly gatherings for the lonely elderly at Lengkok Bahru. Screengrab from Heartwarmers: The Saturday Movement programme by Mediacorp's Channel 8.

“Are all believers of Christ called to be missionaries?”

I used to think missionaries are only a chosen group of people whom God calls to leave their native land and serve overseas.

But the word “missionary” simply means somebody who is sent. 

Receiving strangers to stay is not the same as inviting friends, or even strangers home for meals.

As followers of Christ, I think we are all sent, we’re all drawn into Christ and we are sent out by Christ to live in the world as witnesses for Christ.  In this sense, we are all called to be good witnesses wherever God has placed us.

During this pandemic, for most of us, home has become the place where we spend most of our time.

And as we are restricted from travelling (either for holiday or for missionary work), home has become the place where we take notice of needs that have gone unnoticed before in our own land, such as the marginalised, the poor and the homeless.

Maybe this is the time that “missionary work begins at home” speaks much louder than at any other time.

Stretching our capacity to love

Earlier this year, I opened my house to shelter a teenage girl who sought help through MSF (Ministry of Social & Family Development).

She needed a quiet and safe place to stay in preparation for her ‘O’ levels this year. She had been moving around different homes but could not find a place where she felt physically and psychologically safe.

I came to experience what it means for convenience to be compromised, patience to be tested, and love to be stretched.

It was my prayer that my home could be a place of blessing to others. God answered my prayer by bringing her to stay for a short period of time.

However, receiving strangers to stay is not the same as inviting friends, or even strangers, home for meals.

Throughout her stay, I came to experience more of what it means for convenience and space to be compromised, many adjustments to be made, patience to be tested, and love capacity to be stretched.

Though the girl left unexpectedly after two months, I am thankful to God for the opportunity to participate in her life, for being able to listen to her stories, pray for her, give her hugs, hold her and tell her how much God loves and cares.

Faith in deed

As I look back at this “short trial” of house opening, God opened my eyes to see many physical and spiritual needs around me.

Matthew 25: 34-40 came to me when I was reflecting on this experience:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…’ “Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and given you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”

God has called each of us a missionary.

We are indeed the blessed sons and daughter of God, we are the righteous when we obey the Word of God, living out our faith in actions and deeds.

And the righteous are promised to inherit the kingdom of God.

God has called each of us a missionary. Being a missionary at home is indeed possible if we are willing to open our homes, share all God has blessed us with and embrace brokenness, messiness and homelessness.

Let’s all learn and strive to love like how Jesus loves.

And let love begin from home.

This was first published by Yio Chu Kang Chapel and has been republished with permission. 


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About the author

Melody Chen

Melody Chen is a member of Yio Chu Kang Chapel.