Our family is in the stage of ministry where we are doing our initial support-raising for our first term in Paraguay. My husband is American, and I’m Canadian. Our children are dual citizens, and we chose to do our training in Canada. Now, as we’re getting ready to do a fairly big ministry partnership development trip, we have a lot of paperwork to do. Times two. Everything we do for the US, we have to do for Canada. That includes two tax returns each year, two sets of ID for each of the kids, keeping track of bank accounts in both countries, and a host of other things. Now, we’ll have to add a third country to the list. Visas, shots, country IDs, international driver’s licenses, not to mention finding a place to live and EVERYTHING that goes along with that.
Today I was feeling quite overwhelmed with all we have to get done in order to serve in another country. I’ll be honest. For a moment I thought, “Why are we doing all of this? This is so much paperwork and money. Is it really worth it?” And I realized that that question goes right to where my heart is. Focused on me. I want to be comfortable. I want my own way. I don’t want to have to do things that are hard. For a split second I thought, “What if we just went back to Florida, served in our church and community there, and we’ll be good?”
But GOD. Right after the selfish thought came another one, and another one. “Did you think this would be easy? Did you think I wasn’t aware of all you would have to do to take my Name to the ends of the earth?” In His quiet, gentle way, God reminded me once again why we are doing what we’re doing. We’re not simply raising money so we can take our family to another country and have a great experience, although it will be. We’re not going to learn another language because we thought it’d look good on our kids’ college applications, although it probably will. We’re not moving to a third-world country so we can make ourselves look good by serving some of the poorest of the poor.
No, we’re going because God is calling us to proclaim His name among the nations, just like He calls ALL Christians to do. So why go to another country, instead of carrying out that calling in North America? Because we want to proclaim the Gospel where it is not easily accessible. There are so many ways for people in North America to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. From radio, TV, and the internet to books and conferences. The list is almost endless. But in much of the rest of the world? Not so much. So what about the places in the world where Christians are only a tiny minority, or where there are NO Christians to even proclaim the good news? Romans 10:13-15 speaks to this dilemma:
“For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'”
So, we will go. We will do the hard things, the mundane things, and the required things in order to take the Gospel to those who have never heard. Jesus IS worth it. We will join God in the Impossible. Will you?