By: Brent Cisson
Photo: Heather Michele Photo
During this next season of the Heritage Christian Fellowship blog, we will be celebrating individuals in our church body that are on mission for the glory of Jesus, in our local community or even to faraway places in the world. At Heritage, we desire that the body of Christ seek ways to BE the hands and feet of Jesus to people that would otherwise be unlikely to attend our church. These individuals are doing that and we pray that their stories encourage and inspire the people at Heritage to be on mission as well. If you are involved in being on mission here in Medford or to the world in any capacity, let us know. We would love to celebrate that, encourage that, and allow your story to inspire the body of Christ.
Heritage on Mission: Steve
Heritage family, we want to highlight the grace of God in Steve’s life. Steve has been attending Heritage for approximately 3 ½ years. After living a significant time in Eastern Washington, Steve and his wife, Michele, moved to Medford in 2009. Sadly, in 2016, his wife passed away.
Currently, Steve is retired and serves at Heritage on the setup team. He is also on-mission in our community through the ministry of the Medford Gospel Mission, which is what we have highlighted in our conversation.
Steve, when did you give your life to follow Jesus Christ?
It was a long process in my life but I did come to Christ much later in life. I was baptized in 2004 when I was 52 years old. I was baptized the same day as my wife and our two foster daughters, November 7, 2004.
When did you begin serving at the Medford Gospel Mission and what spurred you to serve with them?
After my wife died three years ago, I made the decision that I did not want to sit around and wallow in my grief. I had been receiving newsletters for a couple of years from the Medford Gospel Mission and was familiar with their ministry. As is common, they were in need of gospel-hearted individuals to come and serve with them. Thus, I began serving with them two years ago.
Tell us a little about the ministry of the Medford Gospel Mission.
The Medford Gospel Mission serves to provide a place for men and women who have been homeless and/or drug abusers to rehabilitate, become stable, and develop coping skills for life through Christ-centered restoration. You can check out more about the Medford Gospel Mission by visiting their website: www.medfordgospelmission.org.
In what capacity do you serve at the Medford Gospel Mission?
I serve once a week through two different avenues. I do whatever is needed by painting, changing light bulbs, taking out trash, etc. Also, I look for ways to encourage and speak gospel life into individuals that are rehabbing there.
What is your motivation for serving at the Medford Gospel Mission?
I want to minister to people because of Jesus. Honestly, I have struggled at times with my motivation. There have been times where I have been tempted to serve as a way to be seen as good. However, I have to continually remind myself that my biggest desire is to serve as an overflow of the grace and mercy of Christ in my life, even if it is just emptying the trash. No task done in His name is insignificant. I realize that I am no different nor no better than the men and women at the Mission. I also am a sinner in need of a Savior.
What would be your encouragement to individuals who may be hesitant to serve in the community?
When you do get involved, there are two fruits. One, you do feel good inside, but you also take your mind off of yourself and get to focus on others in the name of Jesus. Ephesians 2:10 is a great reminder of this truth, “It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago He planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.” (TLB)