It’s so hard when God places you in a mission field you don’t want to be in. It’s especially hard when you love God with all your heart and you are confident this is the place He has called you to be for this time. It’s something people could easily misunderstand and preach at you about, with things like “It’s a matter of aligning your heart with God’s will. Find your joy in Him.” What they lack to understand is that in order to have come to the field I am in, that’s exactly what was done. What people in our culture mean with that is “be happy because of Jesus.” But joy in the Lord is not happiness, it is confidence in who He is as the Savior and King of your life. As the lover of your soul. It is rest in knowing that He will never leave you nor forsake you in this time or ever. It is looking forward to heaven. (Check out 1 Peter 1)
Missions. It’s a word I think of right before a team from church heads overseas. It’s what I think of when I hear crazy stories of healing and God coming through. I think of people like Katie Davis who moved to Africa and adopted 13 children and I go, “Wow, one day I hope God calls me to something like that.” But the crazy thing that I never realized is that God did call me to something like that, just as He has called everyone. But as I learned over my 10 months of studying at Bible College abroad and even still today, sitting comfortably at home, missions has been greatly and inaccurately romanticized. That, and it is wherever you are.At my Bible college, where the greatest focus is missions and going out into all the nations, I went thinking that’s exactly what I’d do. The whole time I was there I was waiting and excited to “go out”. Then I got invited to be a ministry intern in Ukraine during winter break. “This is it! I’m going to be a missionary.” I thought. I spent six weeks living among a culture that was completely centered on Greek Orthodox or Roman Catholic thinking – not on Jesus. Where even the letters of the alphabet were different than what I was used to. Six weeks I was submerged in the newness and the ministry and serving and loving. Yet the greatest thing I did while I was there was spending time with the believers that were already there. I struggled often with the same things I often struggle with, I cried, I laughed and enjoyed my time there. I cooked and cleaned, I prayed and went to church. I learned so much but the thing that has stuck with me is that everything I did there I do here or can do here.
I learned that missions are a lot different than we see it.
- It is above all, more Jesus than we ever knew we needed or wanted. It is submerging every part of you into His love and ability to hold you up. Because we’re falling all over the place.
- It’s a crazy amount of sacrifice if you’re full in.
- It’s suffering because there’s compassion, there’s growth and refinement.
- It is life. Every part of it, the good the bad, the unexpected, the exciting.
There is a sign as I leave my church, Calvary Chapel that says “you are now entering the mission field.” I always saw that and thought it was true, but I never saw it and allowed it to be true until this point in my life. I wouldn’t treat my community as a mission field but I did when I was abroad. What’s wrong with that? Especially when Jesus warns us that the harvest is big but the workers are few (Luke 10).
Going abroad for missions awesome while staying home it often much harder, but they are equal in importance. Because no matter where you go, God’s number one focus is you. Once you’re full of understanding of His love, as we should be daily, you’re equipped to do what He called you to here or over there.
Our mission and my personal mission is today. It’s the real world – my family, my friends needing to be discipled and held accountable. It’s the community around me needing to hear the love of Christ. It’s my own heart needing to rest in Jesus and be kept in a safe place where I don’t focus all on works (as most Christians do from time to time). No matter where you are or what you’re doing the mission remains the same. It always will point back to Jesus and His cross.
No matter where you are or what you’re doing the mission remains the same. It always will point back to Jesus and His cross.