The Mind of Missions
My friend and son in the ministry, Pastor Troy Yanosik of Life Christian Fellowship in Jensen Beach, Florida just returned from his first missions trip. He spent this past week in the mountains of Jamaica where he ministered the Word of God nightly and touched the lives of the wonderful Jamaican people daily. We've just gotten off the phone and you can hear it in his voice, he saw poverty as he's never seen, children without shoes, people who's only running water is the rain and what drips from the trees and is collected in a barrel, they have no to little money, and yet their hearts are open to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Pastor Troy has come back with a desire to purchase tennis shoes, or runners, as he called them, I'm not sure where that runners thing came from, but he is a Canadian, perhaps it's a northern thing. He's determined to make a difference in the lives of this people and I'm determined to help. What touches me more is the transformation of his heart, it happens almost every time a person leaves the country, you see things you've never seen before, or beyond that, things you've never allowed yourself to see. My wife and I pastored our first church in the appalacian mountains in Eastern Kentucky, there people lived in shacks and had little financial ability, and while it affected me, it was different when I went to Kenya for the first time. Today I realize that need is everywhere, and it isn't my job or my calling to change a person's culture, it's my opportunity, my mission to help change their climate by sharing my resources and the love of God with them. For me, this is the message of the missional mindset, we have talked church, we have discussed what needs to be done, it's always just about to happen, but now is the time for us to step up to the plate and make it happen. How easy it is to weep over homeless and hungry people, to walk past shoeless children, and to say these people need to do something about their situation, but it's our opportunity to assist them on their journey! When I returned from my first missions trip I was devastated and realized how greedy I was, I wanted to tell everyone how good we have it in America. I still feel that way, but I now understand that we have been blessed to be a blessing, and there is need and poverty everywhere, it is emotional, financial, physical, and spiritual, and we can all in some way make a difference in some one else's life...it's the missions mindset!