About two months back, I came across nine steel car wheels that had been stacked in a storage shed behind my house. Seeing they were just taking up space, I became inspired to put them to good use, in fact to put them to God’s use. I loaded them in my son’s pickup [and] headed off to the scrap yard to make a little extra cash to help out with a mission trip to Moldova that our church would be taking in October.
A terrible thing happened on the way to the recycling yard. A friendly state trooper pulled me over [and] lectured me on the importance of wearing my seat belt. As I sat there waiting for the ticket to be written, I experienced all the stages of grief: denial (this cannot be happening to me); anger (how dare he pull me over, after all, I was trying to support missions); depression (this is going to cost me big bucks) [and] finally acceptance (I might as well deal with it, I sure can’t change it)… but then came an unexpected stage – INSPIRATION! A message from God came to me as I was sitting there sulking, “Metals for Missions.”
I decided then [and] there that I would take a bad situation [and] made something good out of it. I began making calls (even before the trooper returned with my $182 ticket) asking people to consider donating their scrap metal to the church for missions.
I was amazed at just how much junk people had that they would give their pastor if he’d just come [and] get it.
For the next month or so, I picked up every broken bicycle, discarded lawn chair, rusty BBQ grill, tin can [and] of course, spare wheel in Bladen County that I could get my hands on (after asking permission of course). But it went much further than I could have ever imagined as our entire community got behind the effort. Cars, trucks, tractors [and] commercial items were taken to the scrap yard with the same instructions: “Put it on the church’s account.” After six weeks of metal recycling (which is good for the environment [and] the church), we have raised about $6,000 for missions in Moldova [and] New York where our church has adopted two churches. Now that’s what I call turning lemons into lemonade.
“Metals for Missions” is a God thing. Only He could orchestrate such. Environmentalists call it repurposing (turning junk into treasure). I’d say this is eternal repurposing … Imagine, scrap metal in Dublin, N.C., turning into missions in Moldova [and] New York.
So maybe you’re wondering how you can afford to be more involved in missions. While I cannot tell you exactly how God will choose to bless you [and] enable you to be on mission, I can tell you this… “Where’s there’s a wheel, there’s a way. Moldova here we come!
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Cameron McGill is pastor of First Baptist Church in Dublin and second vice president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. He wrote this before visiting Moldova in October.)