We love working with Mission of Mercy at Avondale Baptist Church, and we are excited that we are celebrating our 10th anniversary of our partnership this month!

As a pastor, I preach God’s love constantly. The three themes that I focus on and share with the church every week are that we love God, we love people, and we follow Jesus. Mission of Mercy helps us put those statements into action.

I preach that we are to love God, but that can come across as a vague and introspective kind of thing. But by partnering with Mission of Mercy, we have a very real way to show our love to God by doing His work with people that He loves.

I preach that we are to love all people, but it is the volunteers in Mission of Mercy clinics who put it into action in a very practical way. Through Mission of Mercy, we have a place and a plan to do more than talk about loving people. We welcome people into our gym where volunteers from our church and from Mission of Mercy greet people, nurses care for them, and doctors treat them. Most of the patients are not members of our church, and many of them do not even speak my language, but they are people in need of care, love, respect and dignity. And our volunteers offer that.

I preach following Jesus and reaching out to all people — not just fellow believers — as Jesus and the original 12 disciples did. We read in the Bible of Jesus offering healing, hope and love to people. By working with Mission of Mercy, we believe we are doing the same thing that Jesus did.

We do not just host Mission of Mercy in our building. We do far more than just provide a space for Mission of Mercy to meet. We embrace the work of Mission of Mercy, partner with them, enlist volunteers, pray for them and consider them a part of our team showing God’s love to people in the Southwest Valley.

We are proud and excited to have worked with Mission of Mercy for the last 10 years, and we look forward to many more years of loving God, loving people and following Jesus together!