I’m Not Ministering Overseas, and That’s Okay

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
I’m Not Ministering Overseas, and That’s Okay
By Hannah Meador

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” – (Acts 1:8).

In my junior year of high school, I went on a mission trip to Haiti. Growing up, I had read about how the Lord used missionaries like Hudson Taylor, Gladys Aylward, and David Livingstone to plant the seeds of the gospel overseas. I was well aware of the Great Commission and the call to ministry for all believers. With these things in mind, I was ecstatic as I boarded the plane.

I was going to share the gospel.

I was going to minister to people in a Third World country.

I was going to help people understand what Jesus was about.

Little did I know that this mission trip would change the way I thought of missions forever.

As I gave sips of water to children in tattered clothing, I was reminded of Jesus’ teaching in John 7:37-38, “Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.’”

Witnessing this desire in the three- and four-year-olds for a sip of water, I was troubled. These precious babes are craving water, but what about those who are craving the hope of Jesus – in the States?

I wrote my thoughts down in a journal from that trip:

“Tonight we all piled back in the truck to go to a worship service. It blew me away. These people are in love with Jesus. So much so, that they are willing to worship Him every night of the week. As I witnessed this, I found myself wondering, if a Haitian were to come to America, would they leave feeling His presence? Or the stale aroma of halfhearted Christians wanting to beat the Methodists to McCalister’s Restaurant?”

That night I learned two things: Jesus is for everyone, and the Haitians weren’t the only ones who needed to be ministered to – I needed it as well.

The people I saw in that one-room building were thirsty for Christ. These men and women weren’t stuck in the stage of merely wanting to make a difference; they were doing it. Their spiritual life was vibrant and inspiring, which struck me as different from many American Christians I had seen in my life.

I’ve heard many pastors say, “You’re called to share the gospel to all people groups.” While the Lord calls some to serve foreign nations, it’s also important to remember “all people groups” includes those living in the United States.

These people groups aren’t necessarily thirsting for a drop of water. Instead, they are thirsting for the living water. These are lost, living in sin, battling addictions, lonely, and hopeless.

Unfortunately, as blessed Americans, we don’t always realize the magnitude of the gospel and its lack in the States.

Many think, “Mission work is for overseas, we have churches all over.”

Some believers, say, “Everyone knows about Jesus or who He is.”

Others follow the, “I’m not called for that, I’ll let someone else do it” line.

These lies are straight from the Enemy himself. All Christians are called to spread the good news. In Acts 1:8 Jesus calls us to “be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” In this verse, the Lord calls us to reach far and wide in ministering to the lost, to be His witness.

What’s holding us back?

A lack of urgency​

In Romans 10:13-14, Paul says, “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?”

While on a mission trip in Las Vegas, something hit me. As I walked the sin-filled streets, I began to realize something about the people there: It wasn’t just that they didn’t know the information about how to come to Jesus. These people didn’t know Jesus in the first place.

Often, we label people who participate in sexual perversion and ungodly lifestyles as “those sinners” or people who God has given up on. We are quick to cast judgmental looks and haughty stares toward the ones needing Christ the most.

These judgmental glares do nothing but destroy the hope of the lost.

When did American Christians begin just assuming everyone in the world knew of the love of Christ?

Answer: when we stopped listening to His voice and call.

Who was given the call to tell the good news? The lost? Or those who know where hope comes from? Often, the mindset of serving overseas is “there are people dying without knowing who Jesus is. We have to go.” While true, it is also important to note people down your street who do not know who Jesus is. They are dying and going to hell because we are not telling.

How can they believe in Him, if they don’t know who He is?

Ignorance of the truth​

The Southern Baptist Convention declined in membership and professions of faith for the 12th year in a row. Baptisms in 2018 declined three percent. That’s 7,600 fewer this year.

Why? Do you think the dwindling numbers came because many of them went to foreign countries to serve the Lord? No. I believe it is because we have forgotten our call to serve our Jerusalem.

Inside of our church doors, we should be inspired to bring others to Christ. Outside the doors, we should be willing to minister to whomever He leads us to. The truth is, people are lost and they don’t know Jesus. When we ignore Him, we aren’t doing anything but building pretty buildings with steeples while allowing the Church inside to fade away.

Insecurity​

In Vegas, I met my dear friend Shay. Shay and her family were from India where her father had served as a pastor. When she was young, her father moved their family to be missionaries declaring the gospel to the lost in the United States.

Why would someone overseas come to America as a missionary?

Because we are lost.

Because we need Jesus.

Because we are leaving it up to someone else.

Because we are afraid.

In Joshua 1:9, we are given a promise of hope. “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Whether you are called to the ministry, overseas, or down the road, you have been given the strength of the Lord.

Jesus didn’t call all of us overseas. While many can go, not all of us can. Through different ministries, we can support, pray, and aid others serving afar. The call of missions isn’t for someone else; it’s for all.

The Lord has commanded many men and women to give their lives serving Him overseas. If that is you, I encourage you to accept the call and go. If not, remember your Jerusalem. Wherever you go, be His hands and feet.

Follow Jesus. Answer His call. Share your faith.

https://www.raptureforums.com/salvation/im-not-ministering-overseas-and-thats-okay/
 

Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
Once upon a time, some churches had a Matins service with Holy Communion every morning.
Some churches had a Vespers service every evening/night.

Now we're lucky if church has Holy Communion once a week, and many only serve every other week, monthly, or quarterly :cry

I'd love to find a church with Matins and Vespers every day, in addition to the weekly service(s). People should be able to publicly confess and Commune every day if desired/needed. Home prayer closets/altars/devotions/worship is fine, but there's something about going to church . . . and there's the public witness aspect to it as well.


:pray :pray :amen :amen
 

Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
I still believe that because we haven't spread The Gospel in the 10-40 window (multiple reasons), God has brought the lost from the 10-40 window to us, and we can either bless these people with The Gospel, or God will surely curse us [by allowing] with sharia.


:pray :pray :amen :amen
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
Once upon a time, some churches had a Matins service with Holy Communion every morning.
Some churches had a Vespers service every evening/night.

Now we're lucky if church has Holy Communion once a week, and many only serve every other week, monthly, or quarterly :cry

I'd love to find a church with Matins and Vespers every day, in addition to the weekly service(s). People should be able to publicly confess and Commune every day if desired/needed. Home prayer closets/altars/devotions/worship is fine, but there's something about going to church . . . and there's the public witness aspect to it as well.


:pray :pray :amen :amen
I had to look up Matins and Vespers, isn't that part of the RCC Mass?
 

Wings Like Eagles

Well-Known Member
I had to look up Matins and Vespers, isn't that part of the RCC Mass?
I don't think it is a part of the RCC Mass but, it is typical of monastic life--morning and evening prayer, singing, etc. The Anglicans and Lutherans seem to have a form of it in their retreats.

When I went to church camp as a child, we always had morning and evening observance. My favorite was where all the campers gathered in a giant circle around a campfire (about maybe 300 of us) holding candles in special paper folders and it was very dark (way out in the country, there is little light from anything but stars on a moonless night).

The pastor approached the campfire and lit his candle. Then, he lit the candle of the first camper that he came to, as he rejoined the circle; from there, the next camper's candle would be lit, and so on, until the entire circle and the faces of everyone glowed. He told us, "We are the Church of Jesus Christ." Then he would tell us to turn outward and we lost that happy glow. It made everyone want to cry. As we turned back toward the campfire, he told us, "We are His heart, His hands and His voice spreading His word, in this world. He is counting on you. Please don't disappoint Him." We were silent as we blew out our candles, and used our flashlights, to find our way back to our cabins and tents. Back in the lights and shelter of our cabins and campsites, we emptied our little paper holders of the dregs of the little wax candles. Exclamations could be heard. "Look!" When the paper holders were unfolded, there was a translucent cross marked in melted candle wax. In all these many, many years, I think most of that night when I think of spreading the gospel.
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
I don't think it is a part of the RCC Mass but, it is typical of monastic life--morning and evening prayer, singing, etc. The Anglicans and Lutherans seem to have a form of it in their retreats.

When I went to church camp as a child, we always had morning and evening observance. My favorite was where all the campers gathered in a giant circle around a campfire (about maybe 300 of us) holding candles in special paper folders and it was very dark (way out in the country, there is little light from anything but stars on a moonless night).

The pastor approached the campfire and lit his candle. Then, he lit the candle of the first camper that he came to, as he rejoined the circle; from there, the next camper's candle would be lit, and so on, until the entire circle and the faces of everyone glowed. He told us, "We are the Church of Jesus Christ." Then he would tell us to turn outward and we lost that happy glow. It made everyone want to cry. As we turned back toward the campfire, he told us, "We are His heart, His hands and His voice spreading His word, in this world. He is counting on you. Please don't disappoint Him." We were silent as we blew out our candles, and used our flashlights, to find our way back to our cabins and tents. Back in the lights and shelter of our cabins and campsites, we emptied our little paper holders of the dregs of the little wax candles. Exclamations could be heard. "Look!" When the paper holders were unfolded, there was a translucent cross marked in melted candle wax. In all these many, many years, I think most of that night when I think of spreading the gospel.
Good post, thanks. I simply had never heard of Matins and Vespers, and most of what I found was from a RCC supportive site.

Learn something new everyday! Of course I forget a few things everyday so I still end up in the negative..;)
 

Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
I had to look up Matins and Vespers, isn't that part of the RCC Mass?

Lutherans have had both "forever." Still in some of the hymnals in use today, and some churches still have the services. There used to be a radio program, Lutheran Vespers, late on Sunday nights that I listened to as a kid on WCCO that I really liked. Some Lutheran churches had/have a mid-week Matins with Holy Communion. Some of them also had/have private confession with the Pastor available before the service. No penance imposed like RCC, though.

Episcopalians and Anglicans also have or at least used to have Matins and Vespers. Don't know about any other denomination.
 

Wings Like Eagles

Well-Known Member
:hug :console

God knows our hearts. Even when we aren't "out there," our prayers help. Every part of the Body of Christ is called to do different things. And people are called to do different things at different times of our lives.


:pray :pray :amen :amen
I absolutely agree. Shame is from the evil one--he likes to tempt us to disobey God and then shame us and accuse us, if we give in to his temptations. "There is now therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." "It was for freedom that Christ set us free."

Joy is the normal state of those who are in Christ. It is what caused the early Church to explode with growth. "In spite of dungeon, fire and sword..." as the old hymn goes. Satan tried to devour the early Church with persecutions and martyrdom but, praise God, 2.3 billion on the planet today, claim Christ. Proof that the darkness cannot overcome the Light that God declares from His heaven. "If God be for us, who can be against us?" These are words that set the Church aflame and would do so today if only we would let Him lead us.
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Speaking of ministering where we are all at (around the world), I heard a testimony of a soul, newly saved because of the people in her area getting the Gospel out and following up with a bible study. She was from another country and very hungry for the truth.
 

Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
Over 10 percent of people in Minnesota are foreign-born. This doesn't include undocumented/illegal immigrants. Over 10 percent of people born here had at least one foreign-born parent.

The percentages are higher in the Twin Cities. In some areas, native-born people are a minority.

Just as likely to hear some other language(s) as English when out and about anywhere here.

What an opportunity to share The Gospel :hyper

Some immigrants are sharing The Gospel with cultural Christians/non-Christians here, too :hyper

Lots of people advertising lost status (traditional muslim attire), which makes it easier :smile

Funny when two or three people are all trying to share with one another, only to find out all 3 are already saved :lol

And really, really, really cool when a woman in muslim clothing surrepticiously pulls a cross or crucifix necklace out from under her clothing when approached :hyper

:pray :pray :amen :amen
 
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