It is convention season in our Church body now, and I am off to convention this Sunday. Our missionaries in Florida are at convention today (It is June 12 as I write this), and while getting the business done is a priority, one of the opportunities conventions offer is a chance to talk to others in the Church about our mission.
It is amazing that there are still so many that have no idea about what we do. They find it easy to get their heads around foreign missions, and in fact relish the opportunity to participate in foreign missions. And after all, it is also mission-trip season. I just got off the phone with a dear long-term donor who just got back from Honduras, and of course, Ben is going to Alaska next month, which I guess counts as foreign missions, at least in the minds of most. A good friend of mine just sent me notification of a mission trip to Israel that he is leading (yes, a mission trip, not just a tour!) and all of those mission trips are exciting opportunities to go somewhere different and share the love of Jesus with others who so desperately need to hear it.
Additionally, foreign missions offer great opportunities to do something for others that seems more substantial than “just” sharing the Gospel. Now this is not to disparage the sharing of the Gospel, but working with children, building homes, digging wells, and various medical missions give us the opportunity to be the hands of Jesus for others too. And in these various helping roles, we leave behind people whose physical condition is better, we hope, and we take with us the joy of having helped others. And the Gospel seeds are planted, and by God’s grace, grow into faith.
I do hope you have had or get to have the opportunity to go on a short-term, or even long-term mission to a foreign field. There is no greater joy and I know, as my family has participated in such, great growth in our own faith follows.
The joy of our mission is that every day is a mission trip for our missionaries in Israel, Russia, Kansas, Detroit, Florida, Atlanta and here in St. Louis. Every day we have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, and while Jewish people do not have a lot of physical needs that they need us to help with (the Jewish community does a good job of that), you’d be surprised how many times you will get the chance to do something for someone that makes a great deal of difference. And Gospel seeds are planted, and by God’s grace, grow into faith. Rejoice in the mission God gives you, both here and abroad. You are always the hands of Jesus, and people are desperate for His touch. Thank you!