Don’t miss your mission

Published 12:56 pm Wednesday, January 2, 2019

By Roger Campbell

What if you were the mother of twelve children and when the youngest started preschool you wondered what to do with the rest of your life?  In the 1980s Mary Jo Copeland, a Minneapolis mother, found herself in that position and, according to Margaret Nelson and Kerry Pickett, co-authors of “Saving Body and Soul: The Mission of Mary Jo Copeland,” she told her children they’d have to help more around the house because she was going out to share the love in her family with those who didn’t have that kind of love.

Little did Mary Jo, her husband, Dick, and their twelve children know how far that decision to share their love with those in need would take them.

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On a frigid Minnesota winter day, a man saw Mary Jo distributing hot coffee to homeless people and donated two thousand dollars to help enlarge her work; he also became her first volunteer.  At that time, Mary Jo and Dick were working out of a rented run-down storefront building but better days were ahead.

Today Mary Jo’s Sharing and Caring Hands houses over 500 people each night, many of whom are young children,  and distributes over 375,000 pounds of food donations each year to folks in real need because of lost jobs, family problems, addictions and other life destroyers – without any government funds.   

On February 15, 2013, Mary Jo was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal at a White House Ceremony – a big deal, she admits.  Yet this humble heroine keeps it simple, echoing Esther of the Bible: “For such a time as this, we were put on this earth to listen to the voice of God and to do His holy will.”


The current persistent recession has drawn the world’s attention again to the name of an organization that can always be counted on to lovingly provide both physical and spiritual needs: The Salvation Army.  This helpful ministry was born in the heart of one man: William Booth.  The poor and suffering people of London became such a concern to him that meeting them in all their areas of need became his mission.

When near the end of his life, William Booth was asked for the secret of his success.

He replied that when he had become burdened about the poor of London, he had surrendered his life entirely to God, seeking His help in helping them.  This kind of commitment established a divine partnership that enabled Booth to accomplish things that most would have thought impossible.

Twenty years ago, my friend, Pastor John Gunn, found himself unable to ignore the needs of thousands of children in his Pontiac, Mich., community.  This call to a special mission moved John to leave his church and start “The Power Company Kids Club,” an organization that ministers to thousands of children weekly, bringing them to faith, changing their lives and pointing them to churches near their homes. 


You’re better qualified to meet the needs of some in your community, maybe even the world, than anyone else, so desert the sidelines and get involved.  Trust God to enable you to do what needs to be done.

Don’t miss your mission.