Last month my wife and I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a ministry trip to four of the SEND International fields in Central Europe. It was a great trip, however exhausting, where we were able to see what the missionaries of SEND (and Teach Beyond in Hungary) are doing on the ground in these four areas.
Debi is posting about our trip on her blog with descriptions and pictures, so I’ll direct you over there for that. It’s in four parts, one for each of the countries we visited: Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, and Macedonia.
The only thing I’d like to add to what she’s already said is a personal note. There were two times over there that I started to feel overwhelmed at the need in these areas. I don’t mean the physical need, though there was a lot of that also; I mean the massive level of spiritual darkness that is so pervasive in these places. The people in these locations, indeed all over Europe and the world, are truly and profoundly lost. It seems that the mandate given by Christ to take the Gospel to the world is so huge, and the number of Christians who are serious about taking up that mandate is so small, as to make the job seem impossible. Hopelessness in the face of such an impossible task can easily take over one’s soul. Twice during the trip I felt that sense of hopelessness.
But God is a very big God. The task is not ours, at least not in the sense that we are on our own to complete it. The task, ultimately, is God’s. He planned it from beginning to end, and he will see it through. Though all true Christians are called by God to take the wonderful Good News to the world, it is God who causes the growth. The responsibility for that belongs only to him. Our responsibility is to tell the Good News of Christ to the lost everywhere. The job is impossible for us, but nothing is impossible for God!
In Romans chapter 10 Paul quoted the Old Testament when he proclaimed, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” He then followed that up with these four questions:
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
And how are they to preach unless they are sent?
He concluded the thought by quoting Scripture again: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Will you consider your part in the mandate to take the Gospel to the world? If it seems impossible to you, that’s not a bad thing. It is impossible apart from God. But God is in the business of accomplishing the impossible and inspiring awe in the hearts of his people along the way.
Here are a few ways you can obey that mandate:
- Pray – Everyone who knows Christ can pray. Jesus said to his disciples in Matthew 9:37-38, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Here are some ways you can pray every day (here, here, and here).
- Give – Though God is ultimately in control of his work, he commands that his people be personally involved. That includes doing what we can to use his money to finance the work. I believe most Christians can give a lot more to missions than they give currently. Will you consider and pray about how you can give more to the work of God? What are some things that you can give up in order to increase your giving to a missionary or missions organization?
- Go – I would ask that you not dismiss this too quickly. Please ask God if he would have you and your family go to the mission field yourselves. The needs are many:
Are you a teacher?
Are you tech-savvy?
Are you a sound engineer?
Are you good with kids?
Are you talented in logistics or organization?
Do you have leadership skills?
Do you know music?
Are you good with cars?
Do you have skills with electrical circuits or electronics?
Do you have legal training?
If you answered yes to any of these (or any other skills you can imagine), there is need for your skill set in missions. Please pray about it. Research needs around the world. Look for missions agencies that serve the places in which you are most interested. If nothing else, you’ll gain a lot of new understanding of the world and missions in general.
Thank you for considering how you can be a part of God’s work around the world. If you have any questions at all about this, including where you might find resources or information about any area of missions, please let me know. I’d be glad to help you in any way I can.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
— Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 28:18-20)