It seems that lately, when i talk to friends and acquaintances about missionary work, even just a short one week trip, I hear one proclamation, “I could never do that…”
“Why?” I ask.
Reasons I get: (there are many more, but these are some I’ve heard)
- I’ve never done it before.
- I’d miss my family too much.
- I don’t think I could handle their food
- The lifestyle is too hard.
- I’ve never traveled very far in America, and never been overseas.
- I need electricity and plumbing to survive
- The temperature’s too ____________. (hot, cold, humid, dry…)
- Being in a place where I can’t communicate makes me nervous.
- I don’t know what I could do/contribute.
- It’s too dangerous.
Many of their reasons appear valid, but the Truth makes them null.
Truth: You’re strength comes from God. Without Him, we are cowards. Without Him, we may not have the endurance to “get the job done.” Without Him, we grow weary and tired; discouraged and down. But, with Him, we have confidence, strength, endurance.
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Truth: There is nothing to fear. Ok, so there are places that are serious threats to human life. But more than likely, you probably won’t go to one of those places if you are new to missions. Even then, we are usually afraid only when we are uncertain or not knowledgeable about the places we go to. A simple cure: become knowledgeable. Read. Search. Ask those who have been there before. Take necessary precautions (i.e. shots to prevent malaria). Rationally remember that ordinary people live in that environment and thrive, many times happily…it’s only a little discomfort compared to what you’re used to. The higher cure: realize that God is with you. He’s not going to leave you or abandon you. And remember, He gives you strength.
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
Truth: God wants to use you for His work. God has given you talents, gifts, and strengths. He wants to use you and the gifts He’s given you to accomplish His purpose. There is nothing that you have ever done or experienced that He cannot use for His glory. At times, you may feel unworthy or incapable of spreading His salvation message. But what we see of ourselves does not even compare to what God sees of us. He can and will use you…all you have to do is say that you’re willing to be used by Him.
He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
Truth: You have a higher purpose. Mission trips are not just about “experiencing another culture.” It’s about sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When you keep this purpose as the focus of your journey, then everything else (yes, even the hole in the ground they call a “bathroom”) becomes unimportant and easy to adapt to. You need not worry about everyday matters (food, shelter, etc.)…he will take care of you if you keep your focus on working for His Kingdom.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? …But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:25,33
The biggest truth, I agree with the responses I’ve heard… I can’t do it. If I leave missions and ministry up to my own strengths and humanity, then I will fail every time. But I’ve learned the Greatest truth….GOD CAN, and He will accomplish His plans through me if I trust in Him and stand on His truths.