I sent an email to some close friends and relatives last week. It was about my fast-approaching short-term missions outreach to two restricted countries in Asia. I asked for prayer and opened opportunity to support me financially in the missions trip. I was somewhat disappointed that only one person replied. It really didn’t matter if they would support me financially or not. In fact, the e-mail sounded more like a prayer request. I really was just hoping for any kind of encouragement like, “God bless you on your outreach.” Haha. Apparently, the mail either didn’t reach them, was not read, or was set aside to be replied to later on but eventually got forgotten. Oh well… But honestly, I was very touched by that single reply.
It was from my aunt whom I have always found willing and ready to pray for me anytime! Just text her or send her an email. She’ll respond even with a one-liner of assurance that my prayer request had been received. It makes me sigh in relief. It makes me teary eyed. I makes me feel unforgotten. Thank you Abba for intercessors who make themselves known. And even if they should end up not praying, the thought that they wanted to assure me of their prayers is already an encouragement!
But the story didn’t end there. Like I said, only God knows why the others didn’t reply. I mean, I sometimes forget to reply to some emails I received too. lol. I’m not holding any grudges. I mean, trying not to. I can always give them a call if I’m really that desperate. But I really do hope they would read my email. It’s a pretty short one. And it wasn’t mass mailed… But yes the story goes on. After the first batch, God impressed to me to send to someone in particular. I was not able to do it right away but after a couple of days, the impression was still strong so I sent her an email. I think it was two days later when she replied with a pledge that covers 10% of my outreach expenses. Weeee… It was not so much the amount of money but the assurance that God is speaking and moving. And has specific people whom he has prepared for Him to use to support His work.
Yesterday, I also pledged to a friend who is also joining the outreach. There is just so much room for more seeds to be sown to the nations. Pastor Cha, our missions outreach leader, said that 250+ churches are waiting for us in that nation. Only 30-50 missionaries are going. (Some have not yet bought tickets so we’re not sure if they will push through.) I mean, I’m happy about those 30. I’m thankful and I’m excited. But I feel the resounding call for more to respond! The nations are opening their doors to the Gospel. Well, maybe not legally, but spiritually there is an invitation for missionaries to COME! From our side of the fence, the command (not invitation) is to GO! I wish we could send a team for each church – 250+ of them. How I wish our bored young people would take the challenge. How I wish those who cannot go would send. (I wish we could have a really huge 1040 Movie screening again and have an instant outreach opportunity afterward. haha.) I wish we would stop thinking about how difficult it is to raise funds but instead ask God for the grace to believe and then couple our belief with action even before we see the provision in the physical.
Last last year, I funded most of my outreach fee. I’m not a rich kid. I’m in the ministry, the volunteer ministry. lol. But God’s word was “sacrifice.” That year, he made me realize that no amount I would spend for an outreach is too great. Even if it means closing my bank accounts, the people we will be ministering to are all worth it. That’s how precious they are. That’s how precious the unsaved are to God. Or even his workers in those nations who are in need of support and encouragement.
Amazingly, I never found myself in lack no matter how much I gave to missions, or to whatever cause God leads me to give to. And even if my money in my bank account runs out, I still have some stuff here to sell. Like my old pair of ice skates (Harlick Finalist), a pair unused Addidas sneakers (size 6.5), a hamburger speaker… Sometimes, we think we’re in need but really we’re not. I have two old cell phones. One two years old, the other, too old for me to remember how old. I have a laptop without battery and a printer. Hahaha.
But how I wish our spirits would groan inside for souls and for the nations. I don’t mind spending most of my money for missions although sometimes I feel that many are missing the opportunity to partner with God because of lack of faith – both as goers and/or senders. But I also understand that there is a right time and season for each person. I didn’t use to believe in going on outreach. I used to think that it’s just way too expensive and it would be more practical to just preach the Gospel to your literal neighbor. That was until God opened my heart and my eyes. His heart goes out to the nations. We see it in David’s heart too. He would pray to win a battle so that the “nations would see that You are Lord.” A worshiper of God is bound to have a heart for the nations because it is his/her desire for others to know the one true god worthy to be worshiped.
It is my prayer that as the Lord’s return draws near, all of us would get caught up in that heart of God that cries out for the nations. Even right now for Japan, that we would have a heart for that nation where God is moving mightily, using what the enemy meant for destruction, to bring people to the knowledge of His son.
I guess I just needed to vent. Haha. Let’s pray for the nations, for our missionaries, and for our hearts to burn with passion for the unreached.
God, break our hearts for the things that break yours. Break our hearts for the nations of the earth. We rend our hearts and not our garments. Do a swift move in our nation. Turn our hearts to You that we may turn others’ hearts to Your name. Send us Lord, Filipinos, Your missions-sending people. Amen.