MISSIONARY`S SURVIVAL GUIDE #2: SO MANY PLACES…

flights_smlWell you have a stable, growing relationship with Jesus and you feel His great message to the world tugging on your heart in the mission fields.  What next?  Well quite naturally, it’s time to find out where to go.  Those fields that need harvesting aren’t going to drag you!  Seriously though, this may sound like common sense, but it’s not quite so simple.

Being in the will of God, the One who causes all things to be, means that the timing, location and season of your missionary maiden voyage may not be what you expected.  The Lord, who exists outside of time, is aware of all things constantly shifting in the seasons of the world; political stability and unrest, natural disastors and blessed rains, hardened hearts and repentant nations.  Having a warrior’s burning zeal for God is one thing, but remember you are a treasure to Him, a child to whom He wholeheartedly confesses…“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)  So charging into the fray, guns meant to blaze but with the safety on, isn’t going to benefit you.  Maybe those looking to clobber a young Jesus freak, but not you.  I can`t tell you how many times my own leaders have expressed this to me.  Pray continually to God about where to go, as you would any important decision in your life.  Consult your pastors and mentors, respecting their counsel because when the Lord does say “..go”, they will be the ones to support you.

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A Kyrgyz boy plays an ancient Turkic instrument called a “Komaz”.

Having said all this, it doesn’t mean that the place you have already in your heart or that you’re at now isn’t where you are meant to be.  Perhaps the Lord has already begun to move you forward as a missionary well before reading this post.  I don’t pretend to know His will for you.  If this is the case, then what research have you done on that location?  Their peoples` dominant religion?  Feelings about Christianity?  Outlook on the future?  On life?  Knowing this information is not to play some manipulative end game, as Christians are to be up front and crystal clear about our beliefs and motives.  On the contrary, knowledge of where you’re headed goes a long way in showing respect to your fellow man and not coming off as patronizing.

What if you have the passion to go but no particular country calling to you?  Then maybe it`s the season to wait on the Lord and in the meantime study the command given by Christ Himself, the great commission.  “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)  Since that is the backbone of the evangelistic and missionary spirit, we can approach the question of `where to go?` by asking `who needs Christ?`.  Find out what countries have a low percentage of Christians, high rate of starvation, sickness or any other struggle.  In short, the places where darkness has reigned and the light of Jesus is in need.  Then once again, consult with those in the Godly position to help you make this important choice.  You never know what valued soul across the seas is waiting to make the Savior`s acquaintance.

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