The year just rolled over to 2008. What do I see? I see a more intense year in the battle between God’s light and dark enemies. Battles rage, and many people are so distracted that they don’t even see the conflict.
Have you noticed the drop in missions funding, and the trend away from long term (career) missions to short-term missions? There is, of course, a place for both long-term and short-term missions, and the important thing is to make sure you go the way the Lord leads. Don’t substitute one for the other when God calls you– do what He says if you want to be fruitful. I am concerned that more people are being called to long term missions than are going, however. You see, there are things you can do long term that are impossible short term. You can truly learn new languages and cultures and understand what it takes to truly impact people and cultures with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that sticks and bears fruit far beyond what you see initially. Take a moment and ask yourself if you are one of those people called to go into a career as a Christian missionary. You can have all kinds of vocations within such a career– pastor, evangelist, administrator, aircraft mechanic, pilot, motorcycle mechanic, rocket scientist, custodian, doctor, nurse, teacher… whatever it takes to get the Word of God to people. There are also a lot of different organizations and movements that need help. Do some research, and listen to the Lord.
Is there a cost to long term missions. Yes. It costs you your life, really. You end up losing your life to gain it back again. The Lord may lead you outside of your comfort zone. OK, I’m pretty sure He does that for everyone who follows Him, at least once. 🙂 There are dangers to going into another place and culture, but safety can’t be guaranteed anywhere this side of Heaven, really. When we get to Heaven, I plan to have lots of friends there worshiping the Father with us– friends I helped find the way there: Jesus Christ.
Think about it.