Since making my decision to go to Thailand some people have asked me some really great questions. “Why don’t you stay in America and do missions? There is a need here also. The nations are coming here. Why do you reject your own country for another you hardly know? Aren't you afraid?”
While sitting on Cocoa Beach in Florida the other day I stared down the beach at all the people and asked myself the same question. I wondered, “How many people on this beach know the Lord? What are their struggles and hurts?” Everyone seemed to be having a good time but was it a temporary fix to some deep hurt or was it genuine happiness. As I sat thinking about their questions I asked God the same thing people have asked me. This is what I journaled to the Lord.
Since coming back to America after 2 years in Korea it seems like so many people in America either don’t know You or don’t want to know You. Why is that? I blame us, Your people, the Christians. We could be doing more if more people stepped up. It’s like we are ashamed of you. Lord, we don’t love them enough, the way You do. We don’t talk about the AMAZING things You do in our lives enough. I wonder do we even recognize those things ourselves?
If we loved people the way You do, maybe they would love You instead of hate You. If we embraced people the way You do, maybe they would embrace Your truth for their lives instead of reject it. If we extended help to people in need with the power and blessings You have given us instead of keeping it all to ourselves, maybe they would accept you. If we spoke to people with grace and mercy the way Jesus did, maybe they would desire to know You instead of feeling shame and guilt.
To the people who ask me why I don’t stay in America, here is the answer God put in my heart. There is a need for Jesus here, you are correct. The nations are coming to America, you are correct. I don’t mean to be disrespectful but my honest response to you is this, “You are right here. What are you doing to help with the need in America?”
You see, I was called to the nations. Sure the nations are coming to America, and coming in droves, but not everyone on Earth can afford to come to America, nor can they whole world population fit in America (and I’m glad because after spending 2 years in Seoul I couldn’t handle being around that many people again.)
As Christians we are called to make disciples. Not all are called to go to another country but all are called to love people and make disciples, WHEREVER THEY ARE! The mission field is all around. When you exit the First Baptist Orlando parking lot the last thing you see is a sign that says “You are now entering the mission field.”
If you are a Christian, YOU ARE A MISSIONARY, whether you want to accept that title or not. Your school, work, neighborhood, and even church are a mission field. You don’t have to go to another country, just look around, the need is everywhere like you said. Americans are so broken and don’t even realize it. Their desire to control every aspect of their life and fill that brokenness with everything but the healing power of Christ is driving them MAD.
If you don’t feel called to another country that’s OK. You don’t have to go to another country but please, make a difference where God has put you. Open your eyes to the need around you or even the need in your own state.
· For my friends that don’t want to leave their city this could mean looking to partner with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Second Harvest Food Bank, Christian Woman’s Job Corp, Nashville Rescue mission, etc. Ask your pastor for organizations and then get connected.
· For my friends that don’t want to leave their state that could mean looking to partner with organizations in some of the poorer areas where you live. If you are in Tennessee look to partner with organizations in Memphis or even the Appalachian Mountains of E. Tennessee, E. Kentucky and W. Virginia where some of the poorest people in the USA live.
· To all Americans everywhere, what about adoption? If every Christian family would adopt just one child there would be no orphans in the world! I know it is a lot of money and a lot of risk but when you put your TRUST in God and pray, He makes some pretty incredible things happen!!! Don’t give up! Sometimes He wants you to wait to build character and endurance. Keep praying and seeking guidance from Him.
One person can’t do everything and God designed it that way because He wants all of us to take ownership and have a part in His incredible story. One person can make a difference but many people working together can change the world. Would you serve God by loving them?
I was called to the nations and to the nations I will go and I would appreciate your prayers and blessing. I will pray for you and your work in America. I pray that as you raise the name of Jesus to the nations in America God will equip you with all wisdom, knowledge, discernment and love necessary to meet the outcast, defeated, weary, week, wounded, hurting, lost, and lonely. He is worthy. You can choose to be faithful or choose to be ashamed. By serving God where he has put you, you will come to know more joy and contentment then your heart has ever known.
A WORD OF WARNING: make sure you are doing what you do for the right reasons. Some of you reading this are serving and feel discontent or overwhelmed. If this is you I ask you to reevaluate your motives. For a long time this was I but then God helped me realize something. Some people are doing things for God instead of with God. He doesn’t need your help, He wants your help. He doesn’t need you to do things for Him, He wants you to do things with Him. Don’t limit God and don’t put Him in a box. He is too big, awesome, wonderful, and amazing for that. Let His power work through you and don’t let your pride hinder it. “How can we expect miracles from God when the altar of our heart is broken.”