Homeless Kids Welcome Here: A Missionary’s Heart

My mom has some pretty funny stories about me from when I was little. Stories from “running away”, to telling ladies in the DMV office that God would forgive them for having a child out of wedlock. All in all, I was a pretty spunky kid.

I was telling my roommates a story from my childhood the other day, and it was while reliving that memory that I discovered a parallel between that age to now. When I was younger, my family lived out in the country, on top of a hill. It took a few minutes to walk to the top of said hill. I got it in my head to write up signs, and stick them on our front door so that anyone who came face to face with our threshold would be greeted with the words “Homeless Kids Welcome Here”.

Pretty cute, right? My mom would laugh and say to me, “Candace, what homeless child is just going to happen to walk by our front door?”

However, I was determined. “Mom, they need to know where they can go! They need to know that they are welcome here.”

Cut to present day, here I am, living as a missionary in community with several other missionaries, ministering weekly to the homeless, less fortunate, or anyone with a minute to listen in the surrounding areas. I see hood kids every day, riding their bicycles or running around in the park. As I was telling that particular story, I was reminded of the goodness of God. The dreams and desires that He placed inside of me are here for a reason, and if I could’ve told little me where I would be in twelve years, I think I wouldn’t be able to rest and enjoy that part of my life.

It’s incredible to think about, really. How when you’re small and you have such a heart for something, and your dreams are so big that they could fill the sky. I remember sitting in a circle in Sunday School and professing loudly and confidently to the whole group that I was going to be a missionary. I was going to show kids the love of God and help them know Him. I didn’t know it then, but I was prophesying over myself dreams to come true.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of times where it doesn’t feel like I’m living a dream. It’s not every day that I’m snuggling well-behaved children who want to sit still and listen to the gospel. In fact, I don’t think I’ve yet to experience that. Some days, I ask God what in the world am I doing.

But its the times I see His glory that makes it all so worth it. It’s when I see a rambunctious child’s eyes who walked twenty minutes in the rain for a hot meal fill with wonder and hope when I hand them a flower and a to go box and tell them Jesus loves them. It’s when a worn down woman comes up to me, thanks me for sharing my testimony, and asks me to pray for her. It’s when I look around me at the friends I call family and not see a single reason to not be filled with joy.

Yeah, being a full-time missionary is hard. There are times where you want to cry, hide away, and not have to pour out. But in the moments where you set yourself aside, and intentionally pour out the love that God has poured into you, those are the moments that make my heart so glad that He designed me for this.

I thank God that He put in me a desire to love on the “unlovable”, and to see people and nations turned back to Him. My prayer today and every day is “Lord, send me”. And that’s just what He’s doing.

 

I live in Nashville, TN, and am a full time missionary. If you would like to sign up for my newsletter that I send out on the first of every month, you can direct message me your e-mail address or comment it below. If you would like to donate to my missions trip to the Northeast coming up in July, you can send donations via PayPal at candace.notestine@yahoo.com or message me for more details. Any donation is greatly appreciated and helps fund missions.

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