Serving People in the Name of God
By Allison Ringler | February 19, 2020
A lot changes between ages 8 and 20. In the past 2 years alone, I have graduated high school, moved 10 hours away from home for college, performed in an international competition, and found a second church home here in Tuscaloosa. When I was 8, I didn’t even play the french horn yet – something that, today, I can’t imagine my life without. But, for as much as some things change, others never do. I love serving people in the name of God, from my first mission as a college leader last year in Rockport all the way back to my very first mission when I was 8 years old – serving the people of Nocona, TX.
Nocona is a small town about 2 hours north of Frisco, known for two things: the old boot factory, and Nokona ball gloves. When my mom and I packed into our car and headed upstate in the St. Philip’s caravan, I don’t think either of us was expecting to find what we did there. I just saw it as a fun trip out of town, something to do for a week before school started again. But we got so much more than we bargained for. We met the people of Nocona, including many folks who are still very dear friends today, we saw a city with so much heart and a church whose goal is simply what all Christians should strive for – to show every person, without exception, the true love of Jesus Christ. We even built up our friendships within the team, most of whom I still speak with regularly (12 years later)! I got my fun trip, but packaged in with it was so much joy and the start of my continuing belief in the power of selfless mission work.
Our God is one that loves every person unconditionally, and I think our goal as humans should be to emulate that love for our neighbors without exception. It is never too early (or too late) to learn how to love that way, and I truly believe that mission work is the best way to learn. The many family and youth mission trips I have been on since 2008 have all grown me into who I am today, and though I know there is always more room to grow, it is impossible to get started until you plant the seed. So, take it from a missionary 12 years in the making – mission work is an exceptional way to plant that seed and set something beautiful into motion.
Do good recklessly! Love people unconditionally! And above all, be joyful in everything you do!