A week after we got back from our Mexico missions trip, I sat up in front of our church and used more than my allotted four to five minutes to share a bit about our trip to Mexico and what God taught me.
Each of the six adult team members had a chance to share a piece of the practical side of the trip and one thing God taught them. I got to share about the daily schedule of the orphanage and so I thought I’d share what I learned with you…
Growing up as the oldest of six kids, I learned that usually, the more people in a household, the more structure and routine needs to be built into the schedule to minimize stress and confusion. And an orphanage with 14 kids is no different.
The daily schedule looked something like this…
6:30 – Wake up
7:00 – Breakfast
7:30 – School aged kids walk to the bus stop
8:30 – Kindergarteners are Driven to School
8:30-12 – Cleaning the bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen, and floors, doing laundry, meal prep, etc. (male staff do work projects)
12 – Lunch
12:30 – Kindergarten pick up
12:30-3 – More cleaning and projects
3:15 – Walk to the bus stop to pick up school kids
3:30 – School kids arrive home
4-5:30 – Homework time
6:00ish – Dinner
6:30-8:00 – After dinner chores, board games, alternating shower nights, getting ready for bed, and simply hanging out
8:00ish – Bed time
The whole place really ran like one giant family. The care and attention and love given by the staff were incredible to watch.
But what really struck me throughout the trip was how hard they all worked. No one was afraid to roll up their sleeves and work hard at scrubbing toilets and mopping floors and doing dishes knowing that within hours everything would need cleaning again.
I tend to get so frustrated when the things I painstakingly clean get dirty again, yet in an orphanage with fourteen children and a large staff, nothing ever stays clean for long. And the staff never complained.
They did their work and they did it calmly and they did it well.
I couldn’t help by think of this verse…
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
I came home from that trip humbled by an up close example of what it looks like to serve the Lord by working. And I realized that it didn’t just count as serving the Lord when I was sweeping the floor of an orphanage.
If God has called me to serve my husband by cooking and cleaning then that work is just as valuable to Him as serving orphans by cooking and cleaning for them.
Because I realized that the verse doesn’t say to work hard while “serving orphans”. It says to work hard at “whatever you do”. The point is to do the work God has placed in front of you and to do it well.
I’m praying that God will teach me to simply work hard at the work He has placed in my hands without complaining or anxiously rushing. I want to learn to simply work and to work simply for Him.
What has God placed in front of you to do today?