Recently I was sitting in a Missions Conference and I was hearing another missionary present his field. As I sat there, my mind started to think about how to present the need of Portugal and our ministry there. I began thinking of things I could say that would make my presentation more appealing than the one that was going on in front of me. He had just given some statistics, and I thought, “I can do better that that.” All of a sudden the thought came to me, what was I doing? Was I really sitting in a church building, during one of the most important events of the year for that church, and my mind was “all business”? Wasn’t that missionary just as worthy of support? Wasn’t that country just as needy of the Gospel?
There is no doubt in my mind that Portugal has great need for the Gospel. The people living in Portugal are an unreached people group. They are the ones that I have set out to reach for Christ. My heart goes out for the people in my country. Just as someone came to me with the best message in the world, I want to go to others and train others to reach others. But I also know that the need in Portugal is not more urgent than the one in China, or South Africa, or Spain. It is just… more urgent to me.
This makes me an unworthy missionary. I want the will of the Master to be my will. I know He died for all the people, in all the countries. But I am still going to be promoting the need of Portugal, above the other just as worthy needs. I am so glad that He promises me that His strength “is made perfect in weakness” (2 Co. 12:9). I have a lot of weakness in me. I am thankful for situations like this. His grace makes me realize how much I need His grace. Every day.
Maybe I am the only one that have gone though this experience (I would really like to hear from some other missionaries about this). There are, however, some decisions I have made because of that night in that Missions Conference.
- I will try never present the need of Portugal by saying that it is more needy than another country. He told us to go to the world and tell everyone.
- I will try never to think, act, or react like I am competing with other missionaries. He tells us that we are all unworthy sinners saved by a gracious Redeemer.
- I will try alway to be sensitive to the working of God in my life. He told us that we are to always be growing. We have not arrived yet.
- I will try to lift up Jesus wherever I go. I am an ambassador for Christ first. I am an unworthy missionary, but I represent a worthy Savior.