By Anna Bachinsky
A teacher, a doctor, a writer?
I had no idea.
But there was one thing I knew for sure: I was going to change the world.
I remember when we would have missionaries from around the world come to speak at our church, and as they would share stories of their travels and the hundreds of lives they impacted every day, all I could think was, “I want that to be me.”
I wanted to change the world, too, for the lives of people all around the world who had never heard about Christ.
I wanted to make a difference.
And so off I went on my first mission trip to Ukraine when I was fourteen years old.
I was the youngest one there, shy and insecure about my abilities, but I didn’t care. I was finally “there,” the place where I could make a difference.
I went from one church service to another that we led together as a team.
I played with the orphan children, listened to their stories, hugged them, and did my best to encourage them.
It was a trip that I will never forget.
Not only because of what happened there but because of what I learned the day I stepped off the plane onto American soil once again.
At first I was sad that my trip was over.
That I wouldn’t be able to make a difference anymore.
But as I stepped off the plane, I remember God speaking clearly to my heart and saying, “Your mission field isn’t just in Ukraine, or in India, or in Africa. Your mission field is right here.”
There are just as many people in America who are hurting, who are lost, and who are in desperate need of Christ as in any other part of the world.
You don’t even need to purchase a plane ticket and take time off from your life to make a difference every day.
There are people in our jobs, in our schools, and in our neighborhoods who could use Christ’s love and the Good News.
I think every one of us wants to make a difference in the world and that, just like when I was a young girl, many people want to “change the world." And as believers that’s a normal desire to have.
After all, we are God’s children, and it was His Son who changed the world.
And we are called to walk in His footsteps and fulfill the desires of His heart, and His desire is that you, just like Him, will make a difference to the world around you.
That after having an encounter with you, people will see His love and truth so deeply within you that they will not leave the same.
And that you will be His hands and His feet wherever you go.
If you want to change the world, you don’t need to sign up on the next third world country mission trip.
You don’t need to have a microphone, a stage, and an audience.
All you need is to be like Jesus and start right where you’re at by helping the person closest to you.
By loving your neighbor, by meeting someone’s need, and by encouraging the weak.
God doesn’t want something extravagant from you; He just wants you to be faithful in being His light in your home, in your neighborhood, and on the streets.
And one day when we meet Jesus in Heaven, He will be able to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” because you made a difference in the world to everyone around you, just like Him.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:34-40).
Dear Lord, I pray that from the moment I open my eyes in the morning to the moment I fall asleep at night, You would help me live a life of purpose that brings you glory and draws others to you. May you open my eyes and help me see the people you place into my path every day that may need an encouraging word, a prayer, or a helping hand. Help me shine your light in dark places and bring hope and healing to those who are broken and hurting. Help me live a life that doesn’t just make a difference on earth but for eternity. Thank you for your constant grace, guidance, and love.
In Your Name I Pray, Amen.