Bro. Tom is a fellow worker and and dear friend. He serves as the Associate Pastor at our sending church. He has a Masters Degree in Biblical Counseling and his Bachelors is in Bible from Bob Jones University. You can find him on Twitter and on Facebook.
The clouds were fluffy white and sliding along in a beautiful blue sky. The day was warm, but you would expect that for a summer day in Ecuador. I remember that day well, not because of the weather but something else…
Another of my favorites had much different weather but many of the same qualities that made the first so memorable. This time it was not just warm, but swelteringly hot and humid with dark storm clouds blanketing our view. This day was in the Dominican Republic and drenching rain was on the way.
And then there was the shimmering clear blue waters of Long Island Bahamas, where no tourists go and the families living on this island are cautious but curious about this group of visitors. The scenery was stunning, but that is not why we were there…
The memories keep on coming. The next one that comes to mind is of a street that is teeming and throbbing with people. Jamaica Avenue in Queens, New York is one of the most ‘alive’ and energetic places I have ever been. The Jamaicans, Muslims, Shoppers, New Yorkers, and Visitors all blend into an endless flood of humanity. One short hour there will bring you into contact with hundreds of people and that would be barely scratching the surface!
Next comes the energized skate park on the outskirts of Bristol Connecticut that seemed to have every teen from the surrounding area flying over its jumps and features. The various personalities and lifestyles were obvious, the need was glaring.
We could keep going and talk about the apparent success of many I met in Germany and Switzerland, but that was most often contrasted with a face that showed little happiness and definitely less hope. Alternatively, perhaps we could cross that line into the old worn countries of the eastern bloc. Heading into Slovakia and what used to be East Germany the financial success disappeared but the questions and hopelessness was the same, if not greater.
Africa? A continent full of tradition, beauty, and mysticism. With scenery and experiences that will leave you breathless. You have the extremes of a wealthy South African contrasting the abject poverty of a Kenyan or Ugandan. The examples are endless and when the people talk to you, they have the exact same needs and questions as your next-door neighbor.
The New Testament is filled with picture after picture and story after story of God’s people taking the Good news around the world. The followers of God are given a mission so clearly and repeatedly throughout the New Testament in direct commands and explicit examples that it is impossible to miss. You have the powerful ‘Great Commission’ in Matthew 28. Acts could, on very simple level, be described as the Good News (of Christ’s satisfying and forgiving death on the cross) being given out in a continuous and ever expanding wave. The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians actually explains that followers of Christ have been appointed as ambassadors! Revelations trumpets the fact that God’s kingdom is bringing together people from every tribe and nation and language group. (Partial Sampling: Matthew 10-11; Matthew 22; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 10; John 20:31; Acts 17; Romans 9:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 2; 1 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelations 5:9)
The Missions Mandate is clear, it is pervasive, it is overwhelming, and it is happening.
We have a duty, a command, a privilege, and a responsibility as people rescued by God to join in this mission. What are you doing to spread the Gospel?
Do you have memories now flooding your mind of people? People from down the street who need Christ? People from across the office who need the Good News of the Gospel? People from Portugal? People from Asia? People from the Philippines?
Are you fulfilling your Mission?
Are you supporting others in their Mission?
Are we working together to fulfill OUR Mission?
Please Support Mark and Aura Pereira in our Mission to reach the country of Portugal. Support them with Prayer. Support them Financially. Support them with letters, phone calls, and encouragement. Support them. We have a partnership and a divine obligation to spread the Gospel across the country of Portugal. Help them as they work to do that!
Then let us walk out our own door and provide for the needs of the people that we know. Let’s give of our time and savings to take a trip to another country with the goal of fulfilling our mission. Missions trips, Missionaries, THE Mission. Spending time in and around these things will change your life. Try it.