I have found it a rich experience to carefully study the lives of Missionaries who have changed the world. During the past two months we were inspired and challenged by the stories of William Carey, Adoniram and Ann Judson, Bill Wallace, Lottie Moon and Bill Elliot. Out of those studies I have made some observations that I hope you will find helpful. Time did not permit me to share these observations during the study. So, I want to share them with you now.
First, there are many faithful servants of the Lord all over the world who do outstanding work serving the Lord and living out their lives with little or no publicity, world recognition or fame. They are totally committed to the Lord and their work is life changing. They have been responsible for establishing schools, churches, hospitals, seminaries, orphanages, training centers, publishing houses for the printing of Bibles and Christian Literature, radio and television ministries. Others have worked in agriculture, piloted mission planes, or majored in drilling wells for clean water etc. These are the missionaries that have labored outside the daily lime light faithfully giving their all to the Lord and the people they serve.
Second, nobody forced those who were martyred to go into dangerous places or to take the risks that they took. From the very beginning they volunteered their lives to carry the gospel to unfriendly places of the world knowing the danger that they would face. They also knew in advance that the mission agency that sends them and even the Government of the United States may not be able to help them or rescue them in perilous times. They also knew in advance that if taken hostage no ransom would be paid. They readily accepted difficult assignments because they felt God’s call to do so. The same is true of all missionaries even today. They take risks that many would not take because of their calling and because of their compassion to get the gospel to those who have not heard.
Third, what many people would call a “sacrifice” most missionaries call a joy, privilege and opportunity to serve the Lord.
Fourth, it is highly unfair, as some have claimed that people become missionaries because they can’t do anything else. The truth is that some of the most brilliant, gifted and highly qualified individuals in the world have unselfishly given up lucrative job opportunities in the States in order to serve the Lord in needy third world countries. Missionaries are not in it for the money; they are in it because of a Divine Call. Missionary compensation is basically a living supplement that back in the States would in no way be considered a salary. Missionaries today often have to solicit their own support which requires additional time on their part to write letters back home to request individuals and churches to provide for their families.
Fifth, Missionaries need our daily prayers, our financial support, and encouragement. Take time to write a letter, an e-mail or text to a missionary whose names and addresses are available through mission agencies and publications of the SBC or CBF. The CVBC budget includes mission support so that when you give to the church a portion of your money goes to missions. Missions is at the heart of all that we do. To God be the Glory.
In His Love,