Early in our marriage I told Dorothy one of my life goals was to minister on all the continents of the world, based on the great commission of Jesus to “Go into all the world…” By allowing God to lead at His pace, I have been blessed to minister on all seven of the continents of the world, including the sub-continent of India. I have found these short-term experiences to be refreshing and renewing personally. Through the years I have discerned that I bring a spiritual gift of encouragement to the missionaries, pastors, and believers in each of the places I have been privileged to serve. Missionaries can find themselves in a lonely outsider kind of place emotionally. I remember going to Africa in a dominant Muslim area where the three missionary families told me I was the only non-fulltime missionary visitor that had come to spend time with them in over three years. They were starving for encouragement. God moved in a mighty way that week.
These opportunities have given to me a sense of perspective on the world at large, our church community in Tulsa, and my place in it all. With the events of September 11, 2001 and the rise of brutalism throughout the world, frontline international missions have changed drastically. Add to this global financial instability and a world-wide pandemic, our global missionaries find themselves facing unimaginable challenges. Still, global missionaries trust the God who has called them to go forth.
The costs of livable wages and housing for full-time missionaries, plus life and health insurance risks in a foreign land, while also providing for their retirements, have necessarily shifted the realities for all missionary-sending organizations, Baptists included. Long-term missionary teams have grown smaller as their regions of service have grown wider. Short-term mission projects and teams have of necessity carried much of the weight for the mission fields. Global missions now focus on three primary areas for ministry: indigenous church planting and leadership training, mass migration relief, and natural disaster recovery.
There is a new urgency to support our missionaries. Our Lottie Moon Global Missions Offering this Christmas is a worthy and vital opportunity to support our efforts as a church to be a Great Commission people in a hurting and suffering world.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Pray for our missionaries. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.Share this webpage: