Thursday, August 30, 2012

Every Week, Every Month, Every Year

When I was in college, I went on a mission trip to Mexico during Spring Break.  A group of us visited an impoverished suburb of Tijuana and helped build a small home for a family.  It was a life-changing week.

I hadn’t experienced that type of poverty before.  I can remember sitting on top of the house we were working on, overlooking miles of scrap metal, plastic, and cardboard homes.  I was struck by the challenges of life there.  I remember thinking, “I’m here for Spring Break.  These folks live here every week, every month, every year.”

The poor often live in communities like that because they don’t have a choice.  Economic realities in developing nations insist that large numbers of people live on very little.  But, there are also people living there, every week, every month, every year who do have a choice.  They have the means to live in “better” neighborhoods, but choose to live in a slum, hosting groups like ours, building houses for the poor.

Those kind of folks are a rare breed and they aren’t only in Mexico.  Faithful people all over the world set aside lives of privilege in order to minister in some of the world’s toughest situations.  They go in the love of Christ to announce that Jesus is Lord.  We call them missionaries.

Missionaries aren’t only noble because they often set aside privilege for the sake of spreading the Gospel.  Missionaries are also noble because they remind all Christians that the call to missions can’t be relegated to Spring Break.  All of us are called to set aside comforts in order to advance God’s kingdom, wherever we are.  Jesus calls all of us to a life of service and evangelism.

As you go through the coming week, remember those missionaries who sacrifice much for the Gospel.  Pray for them.  Give money in support of their work.  Then, let their faithful service inspire you to be a missionary in your world – every week, every month, every year.

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