‘When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.’ [Dietrich Bonhoeffer]
As a Christian, our first and foremost thought must be a global vision – God’s commission for us to go and make disciples for all nations. ‘Go’ means we must never be passive and comfortable where we are, but rather, willing to uproot ourselves for the sake of the gospel.
I think God is calling me to a certain country, let’s call it A. A has been calling me for a while now, and I was disappointed when my parents told me that I couldn’t go. Especially in light of the fact that 90% of missionaries/ministers serve the already reached populations, whereas only 10% go to the unreached. They don’t even have the chance to decide for themselves if God is who He says He is. Even if they have a sense that they are longing for more, they may never know the Truth of who that something more is. All because we do not go to them.
Last week, my parents finally told me that I could go on my first mission trip this summer to country B with my home church. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed so concretely for anything for so long in my life. To finally see my prayer to soften my parents’ heart, but also for His will in my life, not mine, to be done, has been nothing short of a miracle. Although my heart is still for A, I cannot overlook the people we’ll be reaching out to in B as well. They are God’s lost children as well, just as in need of the Gospel, no more deserving or undeserving of it than A.
If God has called me, He has called me. He does not lie. He does not take back His word. I believe that even though I’m not able to go to A right now, I will find my way there someday because He has called me there. I may not get there until after graduation. I may not get there until I’m seventy, close to my deathbed. What I don’t understand is why I feel like I’m so willing to give up my physical life during the mission once I get there. Yet I’m still so unwilling to forfeit all the career and personal dreams I have for myself. I just want to skip the step of sacrificing everything. I know that’s not how this works; perhaps I’m over-romanticizing the idea of mission work.
I know that missions don’t have to be overseas. I can do ministry at home as well. However, the staggering aforementioned statistic of only 10% serving the unreached means to me that if I have a heart for these unreached nations, I should go. If I’m willing to risk my life to go to these countries that no one else is willing to go to, shouldn’t I go? I’m still trying to figure this out. Perhaps it’s just my youthful idealism speaking, perhaps it is God trying to tell me something. I trust that wherever I end up, God will still use me to glorify His name, whether I’m working in a 50 story office building in New York or a 20 person village in Central Asia.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” [Matthew 28:18-20]