7.4 Billion Reasons Why You Should Do Missions and the One Reason Why You Aren’t
By CBM National intern, Paul Daly
Since the beginning of the New Year, I have been working in Raleigh, NC helping out in New Life Camp’s outreach ministry to Cedar Point, an apartment complex that houses refugees. They have a program there called Homework Help. Most of my work here in January and February will be with that program, helping refugee children with their homework, which is a real need in that community since many of the kids there are thrust into school based on their age and not their education.
I remember noticing, the first time I walked through the apartment complex, that it wasn’t really anything special or different; it reminded me of other complexes I’ve seen. The tiny community center within the complex where they run Homework Help wasn’t all that different either. It looked just like a normal schoolroom: tables, chairs, walls covered in alphabet posters, and the like. But once the children streamed in, I immediately noticed that they were what makes Cedar Point’s ministry unique. To my right was a little Asian boy doing his grammar work. To my left was an African boy reading out loud to me. Sitting at the table behind me was an Arab girl practicing her math. The whole wide world was represented in just that one tiny building in one tiny apartment complex in Raleigh, NC!
That handful of children represented only a microscopic portion of the 7.4 billion reasons why I should do missions. The 18-year-old CBM intern, who couldn’t explain how to round down to the nearest tenth, represented the one reason keeping me from doing missions.
If you haven’t caught on, please allow me to make this clearer. Missions exists for people, of which there are approximately 7.4 billion on Earth. However, we—the Church, commissioned by God—hold back because we’re afraid, intimidated, or insecure. Sometimes, we even hold back because we’re apathetic, ignorant, or hateful. Trust me, I’ve been all of those things before, and I’ve had to trust the Holy Spirit to overcome them. The one reason you don’t do missions is…you.
One lesson that’s important to catch on to quickly as a missionary (or a missionary intern) is that you need to let go of yourself so you can be effective. A lot of times, that means getting out of your comfort zone, trying new things, and facing your fears and insecurities. After you let go of you, it is then necessary to cling to God, Who will provide, sustain, and empower you because He loves you.
There’s a saying I learned at one of the recent events at New Life Camp, and I think it’s so important for us to keep in mind with regard to missions: “God loved you enough to create you, and He loved you enough to die for you.” That phrase applies to YOU. It applies to the refugee children I’m seeing almost every day. It also applies to the people you know, don’t know, or don’t like. If they are a person, they are passionately loved by God.
You know the following passages, I’m sure, but there’s never any harm in reading them again as reminders to get into missions:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” — Matthew 28:19-20 ESV
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” — Acts 1:8 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17 ESV
Please keep me, New Life Camp, and the ministry at Cedar Point apartment complex in your prayers this week. Also, remember…you can do this too. There are 7.4 billion reasons (the world) to get into missions; just don’t let that one reason (yourself) stop you.
Marilyn Lyle, CBM National Board
January 29, 2016 (2:09 pm)
Thanks you for your faithfulness. It is an honor to know you!