This weekend is BAC’s Missions conference. Today’s sermon in all three worship services is on missions. Last Sunday, Pastor Alice reminded us why we need missions. As shared in her message, it is God’s plan to save all nations, therefore mission work is needed. The kingdom of God rules all nations, and God receives glory when all nations worship Him. In short, the end goal of missions is that all nations worship and glorify Him. If it were not for missions, people of all nations may not have the opportunity to hear the gospel, and they would not know to worship the only true God in the world. Therefore, the responsibilities of going on missions, and supporting missions falls on you and me. To undertake this task, the C&MA has placed missions as a main focus in their ministries. In the past, most of our brothers and sisters have been dedicated in supporting missions financially, but today I want to encourage everyone to actually participate in a missions trip.
The special feature of our Missions week conference is to introduce everyone to different ways one can participate in missions: far or near, same culture or cross culture, same language or different languages, etc. There is something that every Christian can participate in and experience. What experience can mission trips give Christians? First of all, as mentioned above, the purpose of missions is to let the whole world know the true God, and learn to worship and glorify Him. This is not for our own benefit. Therefore, Christians should keep in mind the concern of saving all nations of God, and that we all do our best to share the gospel and participate in the work of missions. This is the most important reason why Christians participate in missions. When we are willing to obey and participate, we also find that God will strengthen us, equip us, and enable us to be used by Him to bring the gospel afar.
In the past, I have been to Central and South America for short-term missions many times, participating in mission work of same culture and cross culture. The most profound impression for me was working alongside brothers and sisters of the local church to visit non-believing Chinese, and listen to their sad and bitter stories. As we shared the gospel with them, though there were some hard-hearts, there were also many who immediately put down their work to talk with us and come to believe in the Lord.
I remember once in Panama, a short-term mission team led nearly forty people to Christ. Everyone from the STM team experienced the mighty salvation of the Holy Spirit and boldly shared the gospel. Although the trip was only about ten days, we had established a wonderful relationship with local brothers and sisters there, and the new believers. We felt sad when leaving. In BAC’s most recent cross cultural mission trip to Abancay, in an environment with different cultures and languages, I experienced the challenge of evangelizing some mountain people who live simple and primitive lives. At that time, we all depended on local interpreters as we shared the gospel message with them. We learned a lot from their simple lifestyle, and their pure hearts. Short-term missions can indeed broaden our horizons and increase our respect and appreciation for different cultures. The most important thing is to experience the joy of working with the Holy Spirit. Let us all take a step forward and experience missions in person.