As I am preparing to leave I have spent a lot of time thinking about a comment that I frequently hear. I do not hear this comment occasionally or even regularly. It seems like I hear it several times a day. What is this comment you may ask. "I wish I could do what you are doing but..................". For Christians, I believe the desire to go is wired into our DNA. When we receive Jesus as our Lord, He puts His desire in us and part of that desire is to advance His Kingdom. For 3 1/2 years on this Earth, Jesus promoted the Kingdom continually and in John 17 when He prayed for His disciples He prayed that they and all that come after would be united with Him and the Father in this purpose.
If we are directed to preach the Kingdom and make disciples and we are empowered for the task, why does it seem like nobody can go. The world has filled us with priorities that keep us from going but there are other reasons too. Some people tell me they can't go because of kids or work. Others have a responsibility at home that keeps them from being able to get away. For many the issue is fear of the unknown or maybe a lack of funds. The reasons that limit people are numerous but I want to tell you that God has an answer for you.
If you have a desire to go and a reason not to go, God has a plan for dealing with the reason. If you will commit to following through on the desire, He will show you how it will work. You need to continue pressing forward and let Him fill in the holes in your plan. I have seen people go on missions trips that told me it was impossible. I have seen finances come in when bank accounts were empty. I have seen people bring young children with them and others have a family member take care of their children for 2 weeks so they could go. I have seen jobs change people's schedules to accommodate. I left for a missions trip less than 2 weeks after my last chemo session. For every reason, God has an answer if you will let Him give it to you.
I am not trying to lay a guilt trip on anyone or tell anyone that they are called to long term missions. I just want to encourage you that it is possible and that God is only waiting for your desire to propel you to action. When you take a step, He will start moving things in your direction to make it possible.
Many of you will ask "why me". Can't someone else go? You believe that it is easier for someone else or that they have more options in life than you. That is not true. Leaving your life for a few days or forever is inconvenient for everyone. There are rewards though. We all have friends and relatives that do not have a relationship with Jesus, We pray for them and even share the Gospel with them but they do not respond. I want you to think about something. The world is waiting to see Jesus in action. They want to see love demonstrated and they are waiting to see people radically transformed by the Gospel. Your family may be waiting to see how the Gospel affects you. When they see you stepping out they will take notice. For many, I believe it will make a bigger impact than anything you say.
The other reason that I think you should consider going now, in the face of all of life's difficult circumstances is that time is short on earth. We each have a finite number of days and when they are gone, we will have missed the opportunity. You cannot go back when it is over and change things. All you can do is encourage others not to follow your mistakes. I did not go on my first missions trip until I was 35 and did not start consistently doing missions until I was 40. I regret all of those young healthy years that I was pursuing my own agenda. I have never regretted going but have often regretted missed opportunities. I pray that you begin exploring you desires to go and remind yourself that God is bigger than any reason you can't.
I love you all and want you to experience the joy of ministering in another land. I am not telling you that you are called to uproot and go. but I do want to encourage you to begin exploring your dreams and desires.