Have you heard about Church-service missions but wonder if your limitations are too great? Do you struggle with physical or mental disabilities? Are you a victim of abuse or other traumatic events? Do you fear you lack specific skills? Do you worry that serving a Church-service mission just isn’t for you?
Then you really need to get to know Lorraine Pulsipher from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Despite facing all these challenges, Lorraine is nearing the end of an 18-month Church-service mission. But she isn’t done yet: she has extended her mission by seven months because she still has work to do.
Lorraine was born with both spina bifida and cerebral palsy, which limited her mobility. Although she learned to walk as a child, severe abuse in her birth and adoptive homes and a traumatic attack as a young adult eventually led to lymphedema, depression, constant pain, and permanent use of a wheelchair.
When Lorraine joined the Church over 20 years ago at age 23, she had a great desire to serve a mission, but her doctors said no. She eventually married, and when her husband, Paul, applied to serve a technical Church-service mission, she still “wanted part of the action,” even though she wasn’t really tech savvy. So with the help of her bishop, she applied to serve 15–30 hours a week alongside her husband, and the outcome has changed her life. Her assignments have varied from answering emails to editing content to statistical analysis for the Gospel Library app. Her assignment recently changed to tagging pictures for ChurchofJesusChrist.org. And she does all this while serving in her ward as the music chairman, a family history consultant, a Primary pianist, and a visiting teacher.
You might think Lorraine has some pretty good reasons to skip serving a mission. But when asked why she serves, Lorraine shared, “Heavenly Father has given me so much, and this is my way to give back.” And how does she deal with the pain? “Serving [my mission] is what helps me not think of the pain,” she said. “It helps me to not focus on me so much but focus on somebody else. It’s what keeps me going.”
And for Lorraine, serving a Church-service mission is about more than sitting at her computer. As a set-apart missionary, she represents Jesus Christ. She and her husband agree that wearing a missionary badge opens up all kinds of missionary opportunities outside of their assignments. “When people see our badges,” Paul added, “they ask questions, and we can share the gospel.”
If you’re wondering if a Church-service mission is for you, take it from Lorraine: “If I can do it, anybody can do it. We can do anything with the Savior’s help. If the Lord says you can do it, then you can do it. He can do anything, so with His help, we can do anything.” And with a big smile on her face, Lorraine is living proof.