Tag Archives: Missions

Why Is It So Hard?

This morning in church we had the founder of Global Eye Mission speak about his experiences as a medical missionary and how he has seen the provision of medical care to those in need open doors to share the gospel where it would never have been received otherwise. He told the story of when he was called to be part of a mission team in Tanzania.

He went to a predominantly Muslim village where evangelists of the Gospel regularly had stones thrown at them and where a Muslim converting to Christianity would typically experience death threats often carried out. His role was as an ophthalmologist who performed numerous cataract surgeries that restored sight to people who had been blind for years.

After several days of providing this much-needed medical aid, he attended a gathering at which the evangelist in the group presented a bold statement of the Gospel of grace. He remembered thinking that surely this was going to cause a riot and some stones being thrown. But instead, when asked if they would like to learn more about Christ, dozens of Muslims in the audience raised their hands.

Last week we had another missionary give our sermon message. He and his wife were involved full time with Eastern European Missions. His emotional and moving story of how this organization brings light into a world darkened by three generations of communism and atheism was incredible.

He shared how this whole mission had been started by a church in a small town in northern Minnesota that invited some teachers and students from Russia to visit them. By showing these people love and care, they were able to pave the way for the Gospel to be shared where it was illegal for so many years.

These missionaries are examples of people who have given up a comfortable life here in the United States to go out to a world in need of both creature comforts and the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. It is a challenging life, to be sure. But when you hear missionaries like this speak it is easy to see that the reward they receive is well worth the sacrifice.

As I listened to the Global Eye Mission speaker this morning, I wondered to myself why it is so hard for me to share with those close to me what these missionaries travel halfway around the world to share. They show incredible courage as they face possible persecution and death at every turn, going into places violently hostile to the Gospel. Why then do I lack the courage to share the love of Christ and His offer of forgiveness of sins with my own family and friends who don’t know Him?

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Isaiah 6:8 (NIV).


Filed under Faith, Family, Jesus, Life, Service

I’ve Never Been to Kenya

There has been a lot of talk about missions at my church lately. The leadership teams have been talking about it. Our guest speaker last week shared about his 3-month mission trip to Indonesia. Our pastor’s wife and one of his twin boys (only 8-years old) went to Kenya on a mission trip in March of this year. Our high school and college age youth are going on a mission trip, of sorts, in June to do some service work up in Washington for a week.

I’ve never really been on a “mission trip.” It’s not that I don’t want to, God has just not presented me with the right opportunity yet. But I would love to go to Kenya or Haiti or South America on a mission trip some day. I have kind of felt like I’m missing something, like I’m not really “going and making disciples of all nations” as Jesus commanded in what is called the Great Commission. Matthew 28:19.

But then the other day I was looking at my blog stats on a free service I use called Get Clicky. I get a lot better stats on this service than the basic WordPress stats because it will tell me how many new visitors I’ve had, how many unique visitors (instead of just page views), and what pages each visitor viewed. It also tells me the first time each visitor visited my blog since I signed up for the service. But best of all, it tells me where in the world my visitors are located.

Guess what? I haven’t been to Kenya, but my blog has! Just the other day someone from Nairobi, Kenya read my poem Forgiven. I’ve also had visitors from Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa, India, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Bangladesh (I actually have a World Vision sponsored child there, too), the Czech Republic, Jamaica, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and many more! My blog has been read all over the world. Most of my visitors are in the United States, but many are in countries where the Christian faith is not the predominant religion and some are in countries where Christians are persecuted and their faith illegal.

So maybe, just maybe, as I go into all the world with the words that God gives me to write in this blog, I am making disciples in nations I have never physically set foot in, and probably never will. Perhaps I am providing encouragement to Christians who face struggles and persecution, helping to strengthen their faith and courage.

This revelation doesn’t mean I don’t still want to travel for a mission trip someday. But I in the meantime I am, through this blog, doing like Paul and Barnabas did for the early church.

After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. Acts 14:21-22 (NLT).

If you are a fellow blogger and are interested in how far your words of encouragement are reaching, I would highly recommend Get Clicky. It’s free and easy to use, and when you see where your visitors are coming from it will give you useful information that you can use to know where in the world there are people seeking God’s truth and in need of your prayers.


Filed under Blogging, Faith, Family, Jesus, Life, postaday2011, Service