17 years ago, my Pastor promoted and brought a public challenge to be involved in missions – locally and internationally. I am so grateful for that challenge because I took it and as a result, God has given me a heart for missions.
I went on my first mission trip 17 years ago and have continued to travel all over the world teaching, preaching the Gospel, training Pastors, working in Orphanages, schools and communities and basically just trying to fulfill the Great Commission found in Matthew, chapter 28: 19-20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
There are so many exciting things about being involved in missions.
#1 for me is seeing people come to know Christ. Watching someone pray to receive Jesus through a translator is an amazing experience.
#2 – I love to encourage pastors. Most of these men work tirelessly, love the Lord with all of their hearts but receive few earthly rewards and little or no encouragement. To have the opportunity to pour into them just a little is a tremendous blessing for me.
#3 – I love the relationships that have been formed through my mission trips. I have been blessed with many pastor / missionary friends all over the world through my travels. Building relationships with people who are “different than you” is a wonderful thing. Look over your FaceBook friends and your cell phone contact list and see how many people are “not like you”. You will quickly notice how limited your relationships really are.
#4 – One of the most rewarding things for me personally is seeing people from our church come along with me and develop a heart/passion for missions. We just returned from El Salvador with a team of 12 people – 4 of them had never been on a mission trip. It was incredible to watch these men and women love on the El Salvadorian people, share their testimonies and lead people to Christ, serve, encourage, pick up trash, paint, feed hungry children, etc…Their lives were impacted!
#5 – Two members of our El Salvador team were my own children. As great as it was to see church members get turned on to missions, I cannot even tell you what it feels like as a parent to watch your own child develop this passion.
My youngest daughter Kirby has actually made a couple of mission trips to El Salvador in the past, and she was even part of a ministry called Global Year where she and a group of 7 other high school graduates lived there for 9 months. She fell in love with the people and the country. Her heart is on fire for missions and I will not be surprised to see her go back for good.
My son Andrew was part of our team and it was his first mission trip. It rocked his world! The kids there loved him and were always hanging out with him. He shared his testimony publicly a couple of times; he served and loved the people; he was used to make a difference for the Kingdom of God! It was incredible!
I love so many things about missions. Have you ever gone somewhere and experienced something that you could not wait for your family and friends to experience? That is exactly how I feel every time. I love the thought that God can take you out of your comfort zone to another area, fill you with His Spirit, give you “holy boldness” and use you to tell people about Jesus!
Our next foreign mission trip at New Season will be July 16 – 24 to Kenya, Africa! We will be sharing Bible stories in the slums; visiting orphanages; discipling students and teaching them how to to take the gospel to unreached peoples; and visiting the safari. The cost is $3500/person.
You can sign up at www.newseasonchurch.com. There will be informational meeting about this trip – March 4th after both services. Pray about going…step out and take a risk. Get out of your comfort zone!
Across the street and around the world – get involved in missions!