My Ministry in the South Georgia Missions

Posted: 6/14/2016

Brother Jason Muhlenkamp

By Brother Jason Muhlenkamp

Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place 
where you stand is holy ground.” (Ex 3:5)

My first mission assignment in Early and Randolph counties in Georgia, which began in July 2015, has allowed me to encounter many people in these Glenmary mission areas. And the individuals I meet on a daily basis are often living on the margins or peripheries of society—whether it be detainees at Stewart Detention Center, prisoners, parishioners, patients at the local nursing home or the hospital, families struggling financially, or immigrants,  among others. I am privileged to enter their sacred spaces and usually learn of the brokenness in their lives. I try to recognize that we are interconnected. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. As a missioner, I am here to share in their struggles and joys.

Most of my ministry thus far has been a ministry of presence. I try to apply the motto that I learned from the Kairos prison ministry—“Listen, Listen, Love, Love”—throughout my ministry. Ministry of presence means investing time with people, which helps me recognize the sacredness of my neighbors. It also allows me to recognize moments of grace and mercy when they happen. My reflection question for myself in this Holy Year of Mercy is: “How can I be a missionary of mercy?”

Ministry of presence is also about building relationships. Glenmary is committed to work towards Christian and racial unity through ecumenical efforts. One of my greatest joys in ministry has been the friendships that have developed within the Early County Ministerial Fellowship. It is a grace to worship together, to share fellowship, and to keep praying for Christian unity. My reflection question is: “How can I build bridges instead of walls?”

I am grateful for the Glenmary formation process I went through as a student, and for the directors who helped me prepare for the home mission ministry. I have learned many lessons throughout my first year in the home missions, and the greatest is the value of prayer, which was taught to me during my formation. Many times during this year, I have felt powerless and fearful in ministry situations. These were times I needed to pray about it. Prayer has led me to a deeper trust in God and the knowledge that God’s grace is sufficient.

As Glenmary missioners, we promise to live lives of poverty, chastity, obedience and prayer. Prayer is absolutely essential in living out the other three promises. Still another reflection question I ask myself regularly is: “How is my prayer life?”

These are a few of my reflections on my first mission assignment.

Be present and spend time with people, build relationships and pray. I invite you to prayerfully discern if you are being called to share your gifts with Glenmary and those Glenmary serves. It truly is a blessed life.