Shayne Moore, one of our volunteers, shares her journey to understanding that "ordinary" men and women can make a difference, because God has chosen people to be changemakers in the world. 

I am an ordinary full-time mother of three. I’m a housewife, mother, daughter, and friend. I start most days by throwing on my go-to pair of jeans and pulling my hair into a ponytail. My calendar is full of school events, sports practices, and instrument lessons. I holler at my kids to pile into the car as I rush to cram in one more load of laundry. It is my job to make sure everyone has clean clothes, good food, and homework papers and projects turned in on time.

Yet there is more to me and I suspect more to you as well – we are “ordinary” people who want to make the world a better place and not only in the bustling world of our immediate family and lives.

There is much division in the world today, both in the political arena and in the church. Many sides disagree on many, many things. It can be confusing and use up a lot of our time and energy as we debate it all. I have accepted that I may never have all the answers when it comes to what divides the church and our nation; however, if I am sure of one thing it is this: I am not wrong if I am spending myself on behalf of the poor and the oppressed.

In my church we pray the Lord’s Prayer every Sunday and we say, “They kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:9 -10 KJV). I am confident that loving my neighbor, fighting extreme poverty, and leaning into the “ministry of welcome” to refugees and immigrants in my community help bring the kingdom of heaven close. I can act in this world, in my community, knowing I am in the will of God.

I am a full-time mother with a busy life, and that is not going to change anytime soon. Even if I never move to Syria or East Asia, become a missionary, or march on Washington, can my heart still break for what breaks the heart of God? Do the boundaries of my life keep me from making a difference?

Do the boundaries of yours?

I used to believe that my life and my family’s lifestyle stood in opposition to working on behalf of social justice ideas and advocacy. I felt I was a sellout because my family and I live in a comfortable suburb and we attend a church with very little diversity. I wondered if I had become a part of the problem. This was a thought that nagged at me, and I stuffed it down deep for years.

Our world is changing and we cannot ignore that. Yet, not all of us are called to huge activities outside our house, our town, our church – but all of us are called to do something. We have unprecedented access to each other, to ideas, and to resources. Even as parents, we can come to the global table and join the conversation; even our “ordinary” lives can make a difference right where we are.

Where are you? How can you make a difference right where God has placed you? I live in the Western Suburbs of Chicago and have found an organization in my own backyard that has been committed to standing with the vulnerable for over 40 years.

World Relief DuPage/Aurora works tirelessly to empower the local church to serve the most vulnerable, and to see refugees, immigrants and members of our communities become fully-functioning and integrated participants in society. 

Despite sometimes feeling alone and isolated as a full-time mother, I have found an organization and a community of like-minded people – people who, like me, believe the church is the best way to bring peace, justice and love to a broken world. A community that provides ways that I can get involved in real and meaningful ways.

So where are we? Are we in the PTA meetings, the MOPS groups, and the carpool lane? Are we making coffee for Wednesday morning Bible study? Are we at Bible Study Fellowship and Sunday night service? Are we stuck at home with three little kids and barely make it to church at all? Are we busy professionals or full-time parents who feel we have no extra time for anything?

Wherever we find ourselves by God’s creative grace – at whatever stage of life -- I believe we are all called to the same goal of making a difference and to the ministry of welcome beyond our own front door.

To learn more how you can get involved with refugees and immigrants in our communities visit our volunteer opportunities page.