Missions have been part of God’s plan since the beginning. God has always been fundamentally driven by a missionary heart. Therefore, when he calls missionaries to do his work, he is calling people to participate in the work that has driven the history of God’s work in the world from Eden to today. The following verses help us to focus on our mission.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.Mark 10:45
Also, I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send and who will go for us? Then said I, “Here am I/send me.”Isaiah 6:8
Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.Isaiah 58:10
I recently read that we treat missions like youth pastors trying to find someone to close in prayer. The only way someone wants to close in prayer is if they are picked by the youth pastor. In the same way, it’s like we’re waiting on God to pick us so we can share the gospel. We’re all thinking the same thing. We all think He’s going to call someone else. No, He’s calling you and me.
Coming to Africa, especially to Zambia, is an adventure of a lifetime for all of us. I’ve talked with many that have long felt a strong desire to come to the Village and serve. Many were called, but yet, here WE are.
In preparing for our trip, we tended to focus on the things we will do….. building this playground structure, repairing this building, teaching the kids, encouraging the staff, etc…. doing the things that need doing. All of our preparations for this trip have focused on what we will bring and what we will do…
Ephesians 2:10 states
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good words, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Now that the preparation has been done, and the plan for us is taken care of by God, we challenge each of us to remind ourselves that WHAT we do is not of the greatest importance. The most important things on a trip like this are rarely what we initially deem to be important. What is important will be made known through the people we see, the lives we touch, and how we ourselves are changed by the experience.
A bit of philosophy from the Uparishads of India (Hindu)
…they say in truth that a man is made of desire. As his desire is, so is his faith. As his faith is, so are his works. As his works are, so he becomes….
The times we guys spent counting nuts and bolts, fasteners and washers were great to help us focus on our work here. The gathering of books and teachers supplies energized many. However, I do challenge us all with the thought that WHAT we do is far less important than the DO-ing. Ephesians 2:10 states :
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. NIV
So, as good Lutherans (I know that is redundant), we come to be His handiwork. In our efforts we are forwarding God’s Kingdom here at the Village of Hope. Good for us and Good for the children. But one last thing….what will we bring back to Minnesota after our two weeks in Africa? I believe we will go back as different people molded by Do-ing, that is do-ing whatever it is God has prepared for us.
James 2:22 NIV
You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.