Why Arlington?


By Shannon Peterson, Go Now missionary and student at Texas A&M University at Commerce

This is a question that goes through many summer missionary’s heads after receiving their appointment emails. 

I will not lie and say I was ecstatic when I read that email. Instead, I felt disappointed and a bit frustrated. I found myself asking, "Why Arlington, God? Don't you know that I live an hour away from there?" Our own selfish ambitions really do change the way we see God's plans. Yet, doesn't God always show up when we let Him work? 

I am so glad I chose to follow His path for my life and not my feelings of disappointment. What God is doing through Mission Arlington is incredible. Lives are constantly being filled with Christ's love through this ministry. God has humbled me through this place and these people, and it has been life-altering. While I have been here, He has been answering my initial question with an even stronger message - "Why NOT Arlington?" Should missions stop at our neighbor's door? How can we fly across seas, ready to share the Gospel and meet needs in other nations, but leave our communities in Texas left to fend for themselves? 

Believe it or not, there are people in Texas who have never heard the true Gospel. These people are your next-door neighbors. Who will tell them? We pass people everyday in the streets who hunger for food, but also for hope. That hope that they yearn for can only be found in Christ, but who will tell them?

I know I am placing a lot of questions out there, but God has been teaching me by placing these questions in my mind as I serve the people of Dallas/Fort Worth. Therefore, I will end this paragraph with more questions. My challenge to you is to humble yourselves and look around you. What needs can you meet this week? What child needs some extra attention and love? What mother of four needs diapers, wipes and formula? What past inmate needs direction and help getting back on their feet?

We take these lives for granted and tend to leave the needy in our communities to fend for themselves, but we will go across seas to share the Gospel and meet needs. So, why not your hometown? Why not your schools? Why not the state of Texas?

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”- Romans 10:14-15

Related articles: When I truly go home / The road to surrendering / Gateway to family ministry