Small Touches

Sometimes one amazing story after another unfolds during a mission trip. Other times the tale is one of an encouraging pat on the shoulder, God’s Word handed out in a fleeting encounter, or simply a cup of coffee offered with a smile. Such is my Beautiful Feet mission trip tale this year. It’s a story of small touches.

Of course, the trip held many of the big blessings it always holds — things like renewed relationships with other area long-time team members, new friendships with first-timers, and sweet reunions with those who minister at Beautiful Feet week in and week out. Also standard were the reminders of just exactly where we were and what life is like in the inner city. This year it was a drug deal going down in the middle of the street right in front of our vehicle as we headed out to the projects to pass out fliers for our backyard Bible club. A few minutes later, it was the bullet holes we saw in one of the front doors we knocked on. This brings us back to another big blessing — our safety during each trip.

The biggest blessings, however, are the ministry opportunities themselves, even when they’re just a series of small touches like mine were this year. I spent the first half of Saturday morning sorting clothes for the homeless before going with a team to nearby neighborhoods to personally invite children to the backyard Bible club. I helped with the 3rd-4th graders that afternoon and then rode the bus with them back to the projects so I could tell them goodbye by name as they got off the bus. Sunday morning I helped serve breakfast in the soup kitchen, and my job was to simply pour milk with a kind word and loving touch into the cups of those who wanted cream with their coffee.

I also got the chance to plant the Word of God into the lives of a few homeless women. I had taken several years worth of Journey magazines (a daily devotional magazine for women by LifeWay) for the Beautiful Feet staff to use however they wished. Mike, the pastor at the Feet, suggested I try to hand out some myself while I was there. So in between my various jobs, I dashed to my stash of Journeys every time I saw a woman I could approach. What a thrill when I saw one young woman pouring over her Journey as I ran to grab a few more to take to a woman waiting out front for me. How I pray that those magazines will make a life-changing difference in the lives of those women whom God loves so much.

I’ll probably never know how God will use my brief encounters and small touches from this past weekend. But use them He will. Many times it takes many touches of His love to lead someone to faith or recommitment. Others times, God uses small touches to encourage hurting souls at just the right moment.

And the neat thing? We don’t have to go on a mission trip to give these small touches. We can offer them day in and day out, right where we are. We just need to open our eyes and be alert to the opportunities He places in our paths because sometimes small touches make life-changing differences…

“…serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13b

Flickr photo by journeyscoffee, Creative Commons License

**The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will go out next week. Be sure to sign up (to the right) if you haven’t already. It’s free!


  1. I saw the vehicle in front of the van. I guess i was trying to ignore the fact that it was a drug deal. You’re right Cheryl there were a lot of little stuff that made/makes that trip every year so big!

  2. “Small not big; near not far.” A recent quote from Alicia Chole that has made its way into my heart. Seems like you already knew that…


  3. i always find that i’m the one who’s touched the most when i go on a mission trip.

    i’ll never, ever forget my experiences as a summer missionary in LA.

  4. Wow, Cheryl, God really used you this weekend, didn’t He? It must have been quite a wake-up call to find that bullet-hole in the door like that. You and your team were definitely bright lights in a dark place.

    Love the photo, too. It’s so beautiful and reminds me that the little things we do really matter.

    Have a blessed week!

  5. This is such an awesome story. Your message here, of offering the small touches, is becoming a theme of late. I think God is trying to tell me something.

    So often I want to accomplish the BIG thing. To show visible progress through a day. But sometimes Jesus leads us to a place to hold a hand and maybe say a simple prayer. As you said, that is enough.

    What a blessing this experience was for you. Thanks for blessing me by sharing it.

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