I've worked on the front lines in East Asia for years.
And now, I'm selling everything, packing up and moving to a remote part of Guatemala to spread the Gospel to an unreached people group.
Well, okay, maybe I'm not actually the one doing these things, but inasmuch as I have prayed, given, supported, and encouraged, I have been part, even a vital part, of what God is doing through my friends as cross-cultural missionaries. And inasmuch as you've done these things, you've been a part, too.
"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'" Romans 10:14-15, emphasis mine
As part of our preparation in sending our friends the Hardisons to Guatemala, I've begun reading Neal Pirolo's book, Serving as Senders, and through it I believe the Lord is reaffirming my calling to serve Him in this way. In the book, Pirolo's words struck home and maybe this is for you, too:
"God's call on your life to serve as a sender must be just as vibrant as the call on the life of the one you send. Likewise, the commitment you make must be as sure as that of your cross-cultural worker. The responsible action you take is as important as the ministry your field worker performs. And the reward of souls for His Kingdom will be equal to your missionary's, as long as you are faithful to the task He has given you to do."
|the Hardisons - photo credit Sarah Baker Photos|
And that's why it is so important that we don't just write a check and send these friends on their way. (Although of course writing checks is a really important part that I pray that you will do if not with the Hardisons, then with and for another cross-cultural missionary!) There is so much more for us to do if we are really to be the Body of Christ, using our gifts in symbiotic ways to fulfill the Great Commission. We must encourage, plan and administrate, give, pray, communicate, and help as we are able with the gifts we've been given. He is more than able to accomplish this task without our help, but God in His wisdom has chosen to partner with us to reveal Himself and His love to all people of the earth.
Let's do this thing. Together.
"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:14-21