God put me in time out for a couple of days with a flu. Aside from being in bad shape, it's been a time to think about some deep stuff.
I'm sitting here watching Bob Goff taking about love taking action.
Here are a few things that I'm realizing:
1. It's our job to see people for who they are becoming. Use our lives to build up, encourage and equip.
2. To be a missionary, I have to change me, not force all of my new friends to change for me.
3. I have to slowly crucify my pride, if I'm going to be a long-term cross-cultural missionary.
4. Love is an action. Jesus loves us so much that He left Heaven to live with us, die for us, and rise again for us. That's why I need to leave my comfort zone and go where people are spiritually hungry.
5. 90% of the world's unevangelized live in the 10/40 window and only and estimated 10% of the world's Christian workers are here. One realization that I've had in the past 1.5 months is that God has to send the workers. On the other hand, we all should be trying to go. It was really hard for us to leave our life in America. But, I encourage you to try to leave. I encourage you to seek God's calling to the 10/40 window. If not you and me, who will go to tell the 90%?
These were his instructions to them: "The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. Luke 10:2
Moving to the other side of the planet was a bit of a stretch for us, to be honest. It was significantly difficult to wrap up our comfortable, established lives in Sweet Home. On paper, leaving your home only takes a couple of months. In our lives, it was a faith-testing transition that lasted from January until September.
With the Bible as our game-plan, and the Holy Spirit as our coach, we asked God to send us to a place where people wanted to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Because of the journey that we've been on, we wanted to go to a people who were unreached by the good news of Jesus Christ. We were like a puzzle piece looking for a community that was missing a piece to their puzzle. We could have moved to almost any place on the planet, yet we wanted to go where God would send us and use us. God sent us to Metro Manila to live with and minister to young people.
How did we get here? It was intentional. All Christians are called by God to take the good news of Jesus Christ to every community across the world. Since there are fewer people willing to leave their home communities, I believe that most should aspire to be missionaries. There seems to be an imbalance of Christ-followers who choose to stay in their home cultures and vocations. Actually, I've only seen three other foreign missionaries here on our side of Metro Manila, and two of them work with Banaba House Ministries.
Our journey has been intentional. We believe that the Biblical path to missions is clear:
1. Disciple your children and become a family capable of ministry.
2. Practice being a missionary by serving in your neighborhoods, your church, and in your community.
3. Seek God's timing and your church's blessing.
4. Pack up and leave.
We added a couple more to that:
1. We read missionary biographies as a family and practiced eating a variety of foods.
2. We took three short-term missions trips as a family to Mixteco Christian Fellowship in Mexico.
3. We read books about God's world-wide missions movement.
The poor and needy are waiting for you to come live out the gospel of Jesus Christ in their neighborhoods. Poverty could mean flat broke (above right). But, poverty also can mean spiritual poverty. Jesus Christ is an everlasting spring of hope and identity that millions are waiting to hear about and dive into.
Are you willing to take the good news of Jesus to a people who don't even know yet that you exist?
"And then he told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone." Mark 16:15