What if we run out of money? What if times are hard? Is Covid a problem? What about medical care? What if I can’t stand local food? Will my family be alright? Are these concerns you’ve had as you consider the unknowns of a mission field? As we seek answers, let’s focus on God’s character as seen in the examples below.
First, have you ever wondered what it would have been like to see the multiplication of the loaves and fish which allowed the disciples to feed thousands? Was it magical? Did it happen suddenly or slowly? I guess we’ll never know exactly how it happened, but it did happen because of who God was and still is.
Second, some years ago, during spring break at a school for children of missionaries, some students went to needy areas on service projects. When they returned, they reported on their experiences.
“Marie” went to an African country. They painted classrooms and helped teach Vacation Bible School. As they began an art project on their last day, Marie pulled out a large bag of crayons and started giving six crayons to each student. Too soon she realized that there were only ten crayons left in her bag and several more children waiting. She considered going back to the first children to take some of theirs away or giving less to the remaining children but she didn’t like either option. As she pondered this she gave six crayons to the next child. She then looked into her bag and saw that she still had ten crayons. She continued around the room and did not have an empty bag until she had given the last child six crayons.
What do these stories say about God’s character? In the story of the loaves and fish, Jesus demonstrated compassion. “… ‘I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way,’” (Matthew 15:32 ESV).
In the example of these students in a remote country, the creator and sustainer of the universe saw to it that each small child had six crayons. What else can we call that but compassion? May we be challenged by these examples to grow in our compassion toward others’ needs as well as our trust in the God who sends us to the place of His calling! May we be challenged to be a part of what God is doing worldwide by seeking His call on our lives! If He calls, He equips, and He provides. “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord,” (Psalm 27:14 ESV)!
Helen and her late husband David confirmed God’s first call to missions at a MissionNext Conference in 2002. After three short-term (2-4 month) projects in Lithuania, they joined Wycliffe Bible Translators. They then taught for seven years at Black Forest Academy in Germany. Black Forest Academy serves mostly missionary families who work in over 50 countries throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Helen now serves as a Journey Guide with MissionNext.