You may recognize Tina Edens as one of the loving teachers in the 4 year old children’s classroom- but did you know she is also a missionary? While I was working as a VIP a few Sundays ago I asked Tina if she would share with our Women’s Ministry about the recent mission trip she took to New York. I pray that you are blessed by her testimony.
For those in the church that have not had the opportunity to meet you, tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello, my name is Tina. I am married. My husband, Rick, and I have five children, all grown and 10 grandbabies with the 11th due in September. We both served in the United States Marine Corps. I actually served 8 years active duty and then another 13 years with the Arkansas Army National Guard, retiring in 2005 as a Chief Warrant Officer 3. I currently work at Camp Robinson for the Professional Education Center as a Department of the Army Civilian, Budget Analyst.
How did you know that God was calling you to New York?
A little over a year ago I remember Pastor Greg talking about prayer walking the United Nations. I was sitting in the pew and I knew that this was something I could do. I had served on one day mission trips and had prayer walked before (I think it was God’s way of preparing me).
Was this your first mission trip?
No. As a matter of fact my first week long mission trip was last August to New York City. I knew after that trip that God had placed a soft spot on my heart for New York City. So many people searching for hope, for meaning, for God. It brought a deeper understanding of Matthew 9:37 when Jesus speaking to the disciples said “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”
How did you prepare yourself spiritually for the trip?
I prayed for God to prepare my heart and the hearts of each team member to be sensitive to those He placed in our path. I prayed He would help me be submissive to the team leader so that the mission would glorify and honor Him. I also prayed that we would all work together as one mind. I prayed for the spiritual attacks that would be made prior to and possibly during our trip.
What kind of work or ministry did you do while you were there?
Oh gosh we did a lot. Each country represented in the United Nations has offices or office buildings that are called “mission houses” and we had maps and walked the streets to find each mission. Due to security reasons you can’t stand around in the same place for a very long period of time. I would say no more than 5 minutes at any given location. We had a prayer guide to help jog our thoughts. “HEART” is one example. We prayed that the country’s ambassadors, heads of states, and political leader’s heart would be receptive to the gospel, that eyes would be opened, attitudes would be changed, they would be released to believe and lives would be transformed for God’s glory. We prayed that God would be with the missionaries in those countries, for the gospel to be spread, the people to hear the word of God, and that God would be glorified. We also had the opportunity to tour the UN and pray inside the chambers and the building. We were able to work some community projects with the New City Church in Long Island City. We picked up litter on sidewalks, did some spiritual surveys for the church, got to work in a thrift shop that helps incarcerated women as they are reconnected with their children, and we got to work a half day with CRU which is Campus Crusade for Christ. What an awesome God we serve.
Do you feel that God equipped you for what you were asked to do while you were there?
Yes. He gave us each exactly what we need when we needed it.
If you served in more than one capacity, which did you feel had the most Kingdom impact?
I have to say Prayer. Even when there were times that a block would occur and it was hard to concentrate due to the noise, to just say “Jesus, I don’t know how to pray right now but I know You are in control and You know exactly what is going on and You hand is over this. I just lift up “XXX” country.”
Please share with our blog readers a favorite experience from your mission trip?
That is so hard – every day held so many blessings. Okay, after much thought it was when we were on the subway. We were tired it was at the end of a long day and the subway was crowded. We were standing and I can’t even remember how it happened, Ann and I were leaning on each other and started singing “Lean on me, when you’re not strong, and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on, for it won’t be long… ‘til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on, …just call on me brother when you need a hand- we all need somebody to lean on” it made everyone smile. You see in the subway most people are just rushing from one place to the other and many times they have earphones in and won’t even look you in the eye. It was an opportunity to just be real.
Do you feel that God created divine appointments for your team?
Most definitely. Each day held opportunity to just be kind to someone – truly be the hands and feet of Jesus.
The Women’s Ministry extends our sincere thanks to Tina for sharing her experiences with the women of FBC. If you were encouraged by Tina’s testimony or would like to ask her additional questions you may leave a comment below.
Another team of volunteers will be returning to New York City. This mission trip is scheduled for August 2-9th, 2014. The mission project will involve prayer walking and community service projects with New City Church. To find out more about how you can be involved in our global mission effort contact Pastor Dick Avey at 501.843.5472 or send him and email firstname.lastname@example.org.