Missions. The calling to tell and demonstrate the love and truth of Christ to those who may not know Him.
I just finished reading a biography about Hudson Taylor, Hudson Taylor Deep in the Heart of China by Janet and Geoff Benge. He was a missionary to the interior of China who lived from 1832 to 1905. He founded the China Inland Mission.
Taylor is noteworthy for many reasons, not the least being he never asked for a dime of support. He prayed and depended on God to provide every cent needed for the missionary work (and God did provide every penny). This is a radical way to live, even within the missionary world. The typical model is those being sent as missionaries go out to the churches and people and let them know what support they need to raise (I have served as a missionary with this model) and ask the people to come alongside the work the missionaries will be doing wherever they are called.
I’m not sure which is better or if one is right and the other is wrong. I have an inkling both are just fine. But I was very surprised at one readers’ response on Goodreads. The commenter stated she did not see Hudson Taylors’ action as trusting God, rather as testing God. She said Hudson Taylor took too many risks with his life, the life of his wife and children.
Yes, the risks were big, but isn’t that often the case? Especially in missionary work? Not everyone can be called to stay home and witness to others at their nice job. Some, many, are called to go far away from home, loved ones and security. Thanks to technology, we can now reach the far off places more safely and quickly, but still, Christian missionaries bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s truth is not welcome everywhere. Some places the rejection is peaceful, other places, the reaction is angry and violent. God doesn’t hide this truth. Jesus was actually pretty blunt that the Gospel is divisive. But that doesn’t stop Him from calling people to fulfill the Great Commission.
And when He calls, obedience is the best response. It may not be the easiest or the safest, but it is the best.
I spent a short time traveling as a missionary. It was wonderful. It wasn’t always easy, but it was the best place to be. I will tell you it was easier to be traveling as a missionary than it is to be at home trying to be a Christian wife and mother, but this is where I am, so I will embrace it. I will throw my arms around all it’s mess and it’s beauty.
For right now, THIS is my mission field.