I have a burden on my heart. I’ve had it for a long time–actually my whole life. To be honest, it’s been my whole life. And it has been the life of my parents and grandparents before me.
I have a burden for New England. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. (New York is a Mid-Atlantic state. Just saying…)
My burden is one that a lot of people don’t “get.” I don’t “get” those people. Have they ever seen New England? Have they ever interacted with New Englanders? What do I need to say? How can I make you understand?
The truth is harsh. And I am a brutally honest New England girl, so I’m going to say it. Ministry in New England is hard. The culture is largely secular. The people are stubborn. The cost of living is high. A good job can be hard to find. The winters are long and bitterly cold. The churches are small–many times less than 30 people–and the congregations are often primarily made up of the 65+ crowd.
I’m not going to assert that any region of the world needs to be reached any more or less. Because no matter where you go, there will be eternal souls in need of the Gospel. My burden is for New England in particular. And maybe you’ve just never thought about it, but what could a summer ministry in New England look like? What if there were a mission team that spent the summer encouraging small New England churches by using their musical talents or helping run VBS programs?
What if you spent the summer serving in communities that look like this?
What if I told you that you could visit places like this?
What if you were the first person who had played the piano in that church in more than a decade?
What if your teammates were the only people there in your age group?
What if your visit allowed that church to have a VBS ministry for one more year?
What if your team’s ministry allowed that pastor to have a much-needed break to just sit beside his wife?
What if I could promise you that the faithful believers in those churches would be as much of a blessing to you as you would be to them? And that you would eat incredibly well? And that you would be ministering to some of the most loving, generous people you will ever meet?
This is where I grew up. These are the people who are dear to me. My dad pastors a small church in Maine. I’ll admit my obvious bias. But I would love to see a mission team reaching New England. I would love to take this idea to people who can help me make it happen. But first, I need to know if there’s anyone out there who shares my burden. So I’ll ask one final question.
Would you go?