Let Them Go

Stacie Compton

Let Them Go

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I asked my daughter as we drove through town.

“Well, maybe a doctor for animals or a teacher, or maybe a missionary” she answered.

“Oh, wow! Those all sound fun,” I replied nonchalantly. “Wait…a missionary? That would mean you would have to live far, far away from Daddy and me. Are you sure you want to do that?”

The truth of the matter was I wasn’t sure I wanted her to do that. Sure, I meant all the things I vowed when we stood before the church and committed ourselves to see her discipled and raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. However, in that dedication service, I’m not so sure we meant that.

The deeper reality is, we at IM find parents all too often want their children to serve the Lord whole-heartedly—just on their terms and near their homes. People around the world are dying and going into eternity without hearing of Jesus Christ. And, quite honestly, it’s our own fault. We have the answers they need. Yet, we often hold tightly to the reins of those gifted with the opportunity to go.

Never in my wildest dreams, when they laid my baby girl against my skin in the delivery room, did I imagine she might one day walk through airport security with the intention of boarding a plane to a far-away land to share the gospel. Our girls are only seven and 11, but this reality hit me right in the heart.

Mommas, hear me loud and clear: it’s our duty as parents to let them go.

The call is clear: “Go into all the world to preach the gospel.”

Each summer, hundreds of teenagers are given an opportunity to go. We must support them in this. Their Heavenly Father is calling. Our obedience matters as much as theirs. Will you let them go? Eternity is at stake. Your son or daughter might be the one who shares the life-changing message of Jesus’ love for the world.

Pray hard, hug them tight, and let them go.

 

Excerpted from an article by Stacie Compton in ONE Magazine. Use the link to read the full article. Learn more about ETEAM and other short-term opportunities or about career missions.

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120 Degrees in the Shade

Clint Morgan

120 Degrees in the Shade

The elderly missionary to India was engaged in conversation with a young man desiring to be a missionary to India. The wise old man threw up a quick caution before the missionary candidate: “Young man, you need to know the temperature in India sometimes reaches 120 degrees in the shade.” The young man pondered a moment, then asked, “We don’t have to stay in the shade all the time…do we?”

This humorous story reveals two things. One, the older missionary was pretty certain the young man didn’t know about the raging temperatures of India. Two, the young missionary candidate thought he had a simple solution for a possible health challenge.

A quick lesson can be extracted from this entertaining exchange. One really doesn’t grasp some things about life on the mission field without living there.

However, just as the elderly statesman missionary gently enlightened the novice of what might be awaiting him, missionaries willingly share the challenges and opportunities from their fields of ministry with their constituency.  The issues may range from “120 degrees in the shade” to powerful witchcraft that enshrouds the people in constant fear. Regardless, they are real issues and missionaries want their supporters to be better informed so they can pray more effectively.

Next time you have an opportunity to talk with a missionary, ask this simple question: “What is the biggest cultural challenge you face in presenting the gospel on your field.”

Question: Should a missionary take weather into consideration when choosing a place to serve? Why or why not? 

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Is There a Cause?

Danny Williams

Is There a Cause?

The year was 1836. Inside the small, Spanish mission we know as the Alamo was a group of fewer than 200 men. For 12 days, they had been under siege by a 5,000-strong force of Mexican soldiers led by Dictator/General Santa Anna. According to legend, on the night before the Alamo would fall Lt. Colonel William Travis removed his sword from its sheath and drew a line in the sand. He challenged all who were willing to fight to the death to step across the line with him. Almost every man did, and almost every one of them died in the attack. They chose to die—for the cause of Texas independence, some out of loyalty for their leader. They believed the cause was worth the ultimate sacrifice.

In 1 Samuel 17, David demonstrated the same concept. Having heard the blasphemous mockery of Goliath, David questioned why no Israelite soldier had stepped up to fight the giant who defied the living God. When chided and criticized by his own brother, David asked, “Is there not a cause?” He believed the name and reputation of the Lord was a cause worth risking his life.

Do we have such a cause today? I suggest the New Testament makes it abundantly clear we do. Mark 16:15 commands believers to “go into all the world and preach the gospel….” The Great Commission is repeated four other times. The Lord’s final command is to be our foremost cause. Nothing should unify and rally our people, our churches, and our denomination more than the cause of world evangelism.

During my tenure on the FWBIM Board, I have prayed that we as Free Will Baptists would become focused on reaching our dark world with the light of the gospel. I have asked the Lord to stir our hearts for a lost world to the point where our energy and resources are used for declaring the truth rather than debating our preferences. Oh, how I long for our denomination to demonstrate the Great Commission is our priority! What are we willing to sacrifice, commit, or risk to make it so? Is there not a cause?

 

Danny Williams concluded 14 years on the Board of International Missions In July 2016.

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The Spirit of “Yes”

Danny Williams

The Spirit of “Yes”

One of the great “missions” verses in the Bible is Isaiah 6:8. God asked, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” Isaiah answered, “Here am I, send me.”

We all have heard or even preached the verse ourselves as a challenge to say “yes” to missionary service. The challenge is appropriate, but is the spirit of Isaiah’s response accurate? His “yes” is often presented as one of confidence, courage, and eagerness; like a soldier volunteering for a special assignment for his commanding officer.

Upon a closer look at the context of the chapter, I think we find a different spirit; one which is rare but valuable in impacting an unsaved world. Isaiah had just seen the holy, sovereign God on the heavenly throne. That vision enabled Isaiah to see himself as the undone and unclean man he was. With a refreshing honesty, he found cleansing through contrition and repentance.

It is at this point in the account God, seeking someone to go, asked His question. Knowing the events of the chapter, I am sure Isaiah’s reply was with a humble and broken spirit. He recognized his inadequacy and felt his unworthiness.

Yet, without pretense or arrogance, Isaiah said “yes” because he was honored to go on behalf of the Holy One who cleansed and called him. Evidently, this is exactly the kind of messenger the Lord wanted because the very next word from God is, “Go…”

As a member of the FWBIM Board for the last 14 years, I have had the blessed privilege to interview numerous missionary candidates and observe many career missionaries. Some understandably demonstrate excitement, eagerness, and confidence. These attributes, however, do not necessarily guarantee success. God wants to use those who say “yes” with meekness, as servants obeying the Master to whom they owe so much. They are often the ones who persevere despite the difficulties and the dry, lean times.

A “yes” from a broken, humble, clean, and grateful heart is just what is needed to impact this dark world.

Danny Williams concluded 14 years on the Board of International Missions in July 2016.

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The Joy of Answering the Call

Clint Morgan

The Joy of Answering the Call

God moved in my heart with a clear direction for my life as a 15-year-old at youth camp.

Mom Willey, former missionary to Panama and Cuba (now deceased), spoke that night. I wasn’t the only camper moved by her testimony and appeal for us to consider God’s will for our lives.

From then to this day, Africa found its place in my heart. I am confident my love for the people of Africa will never go away. I cried many tears of joy during that period of my life. Not everyone will have the same emotional reaction, but all who submit to His will experience abundant joy.

I am thoroughly convinced few actions in our lives provide the level of joy that accompanies submitting to His will.

Interested in learning more about Mom Willey? Read Beyond the Gate.

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