Missions is our Mission. We have just begun a new mission year at Tabernacle. Our 2015-16 year ended June 30th. It was a good year with many of the normal events completed with a great deal of excitement. Each Wednesday night our church hears from three missionaries by letter. I have the joy of reading most of the letters. They are filled with gratitude, love, victories, some setbacks, additions to families, kids going off to college, converts, new church plants, furlough plans, government collapse, and many other items to numerous to mention. I love the letters and often chuckle at some of the things they do on the field. I know it is serious business, but fun things do happen.
The letters remind me that missionaries are just normal folks like the rest of us. They are often called upon to go way beyond the normal. They have to deal with housing problems, worn out cars, and folks that sometimes are not faithful. Then there are letters that relate to us the blessing of a faithful National without whom the missionary would be limited. We all appreciate the faithful in our churches. Faithfulness must mean so much more to the missionary in a foreign land without family and friends. One young single missionary remarked how excited she was to have a friend who was now ready to go soul winning with her. Another related how a local man who loves Jesus loads his scooter with Gospel tracts and New Testaments and takes them to the villages.
Did you notice I never said the missionary faces all these hardships alone? They all have the reality of God’s promise to never leave them. (Heb. 13:5b) It must be an extra burden to be without family and friends and face hardships. Survival at these tough moments comes when they are assured the folks at home are praying. We must be faithful in prayer. How many came home because the prayer warriors failed? No doubt as you read this you are aware that in a few moments you can get the help you need. Help is as close as the cell phone. May I remind you that prayer is quicker, and God has worldwide service that always works? I am reminded as I write that you and I have a role to play in the success of our missionaries.
Let me close with a challenge to give to missions. It costs to live there as it does here in America. We have so much or think we need so much here. Our culture keeps telling us just how badly we need everything. Children are constantly shown on TV what they need and why the need it. Gadgets and fads keep us poor while the missionary needs a new tire or a chair or maybe books for a child’s education. Let’s not allow them to be alone or without on the field God has called them to. Let’s make missions our mission!