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Bird Poop (and Ministry)

Going into my first mission trip, I really didn’t know what to expect. I initially thought, “I’m going to get to work full-time with the homeless, and I’ll get to talk with all of them and it’ll be so cool to just converse and get to know their story”. I was really pumped up for Skid Row, and I was ecstatic. But God had other plans for me, so that He could teach me about serving and humbleness. When we finally started our first day of ministry at the Dream Center, I didn’t find myself reaching out to those on the streets like the other groups did, instead, I found myself sweeping the back alley of a church, cleaning up bird poop, in the midst of the occasional cockroach. It really was a lot more different than I had expected. I was actually somewhat upset at first! I thought, “Why should I be the one doing this? Other groups get to go down to the streets and handout food. Why wasn’t I doing that?”. But then I felt God just completely go through all those layers of pride and arrogance, I felt God telling me, “What makes you think you can be an example of Christ to others if you can’t even humble yourself to wash the back of a church?” It was quite a slap in the face when God told me that. I realized that I was acting like a tourist, I wasn’t there to serve, I was there because I wanted to do what I had wanted to do. I was prideful and I really didn’t want to do such dirty work. I was doing God’s work, but I wasn’t willingly doing it, on the inside, I was complaining and I felt upset and unsatisfied with the job I was assigned. I was really not being a good example of Christ to the custodians or anyone else who passed by. So after hearing from God, it finally hit me that  ministry isn’t always big things like caring for the homeless or feeding the poor, ministry is being an example of Christ everywhere we go, no matter how irritating the job may seem or how boring it my be. The time I had with just myself and God in that back alley had given me new insight and I felt God really change my perspectives and humble me. The bird poop was really hard to wash off, even though I scrubbed, soaked, and saturated it in bleach, not all of it disappeared and some marks still remained, but there was an improvement and the poop was now barely visible. This was quite similar to what had happened to me that day. Even though God had changed me and spoke to me, I still didn’t resolve my pride completely.

Even though I had fixed some of my pride the day prior, today’s jobs brought on even more challenges. I was assigned to the group responsible for cleaning up the streets…….. in housed areas with little to no homeless people. I hadn’t completely eradicated my pride despite the work God had done on me the day prior and I found myself somewhat cranky in the first half-hour or so. I was walking around a bunch of neighborhoods, picking up garbage and cleaning what we could off the sidewalks. I felt disappointment and some degree of irritation when I picked up numerous empty cigarette packages and junk food wrappers. I wasn’t really giving my best into the job. I was just trying to get the job done, and I wanted to just get out and leave as quickly as possible. I was giving trying to give the people at the dream center the minimum I had to do. God then really just pointed out to me the standard of the work I was producing. I hastily cleaned what was easy to pick up, and wasn’t soiled or dirty. I wasn’t doing ministry, I was just trying to stay in my comfort zone, I was once again, being a tourist. God then poked at me with a verse which I had learned quite a while ago.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. (Colossians 3:23)

I guess I then just really was shocked then with this verse. Ministry isn’t something you can work at half-heartedly. You must always give your best to God, not only in ministry, but in the day to day of something we call life.

 

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16 comments

  1. Wow, Titus, this is super! Thank you. Your words serve as a reminder to myself.

  2. Thanks for sharing from your heart Titus. Words we all need to hear. May God bless you as you continue to give your best for the glory of God!!

  3. God did answer my prayer. I am very proud of you for being obedient and submissive to the Holy Spirit. Stepping out of our comfort zone is never easy. Sensing the Holy Spirit and responding with humility should be the goal for every one who goes on a mission trip. I praise God for you, dear. Don’t lose heart. I am cheering and praying for you every day.There is no bigger or smaller jobs. In God’s eyes, everything you do is for the Lord. Well done.

  4. It blesses us so much more than you realize when you guys are willing to share such personal insights with us. Thanks for your posts today, Titus and Braun. I could work on a little humility in my own jobs the Lord gives me. Your encouragement made me think of the verse:
    “And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.” Titus 2:7. You hit the nail on the head.
    Missing having all of you around: March break seems awfully quiet without you (especially you, Amanda: can’t wait until you’re home, now), but we wouldn’t take away this experience for anything.
    Still praying day and night for all of you.

  5. Wow Titus. Good for you for being obedient and listening to the voice of God!

  6. Marti Vanderveen

    Titus thanks for being willing to share this about yourself so humbly…all of you are an inspiration to us, as we see God changing your perspectives, attitudes and hearts to align more closely with His. May He complete the good work He has begun in each of you!! You are all running the race strong and we will keep praying for strength & grace to finish well.

  7. Titus, I echo the others in saying, thanks so much for sharing your humbleness by again giving us a snapshot into your heart. The verse you shared is one that convicted me several years ago and I continue to be reminded through that verse that we are to serve, praise and yes, even worship God in everything we do no matter what that may entail. Thank you again for that reminder!!

    We pray that God will continue to give you the strength to care for His people in whatever you are assigned.

    I know you all are such a Blessing to those around you and to us as you share your stories.

    May God continue to bless and multiply the work He has begun in each of you.

  8. We hear that some of you are not feeling well – we pray the comfort of the Holy Spirit and the healing power of Jesus over each one of you. (p.s. Love you Mackenzie)

    • Yes, praying in agreement with Normay. I’m praying for a speedy return to good health for everyone. Keep trusting in God, “…for I am the LORD, who heals you.” Exodus 15:26

  9. may the healing hands of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be upon you. restoring you to good health and giving you the strength to continue … (love you and miss you Erin)

  10. Marti Vanderveen

    Praying for the healing hand of the Lord to be on all of you who are not feeling well…praying for all who are well that you will stay that way. Jesus, these are your precious servants and they want to serve you well, bring healing to their bodies and raise them up from the sickness by your power to carry out the work that you have prepared for them to do. Asking by faith in the power and name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.

    Love and big hugs to you Mikayla!! Miss you lots:(

  11. Good morning Team: well it’s your last day. Time to pack your things, a pocket full of memories and hearts that have become a little more like Jesus’. The cleanup stories of Braun and Titus are such a great picture of God’s continual sweeping and scrubbing up the sin in our lives. And sometimes the effect of ‘work’ we offer God may not seem that significant or immediate but obedience to God’s quiet voice (to quote a previous response) is some of the best worship you can offer God.
    Praying improved health and a safe flight back home. Looking forward to hearing some of your stories Zach. Blessings on you!
    F Rempel

  12. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long
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  13. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely useful information particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such information much. I was looking for this certain info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  14. An excellent read for anyone struggling with pride, or even resisting an obvious command, in their walk with God. A reminder of our required loyalty to Him is always useful! 🙂

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