Leaving Home is at the Heart of Mission, Part II

February 18, 2011



God Uses Foreigners to Preach the Good News

There is something unique about hearing the gospel from a foreigner.  When I lived in Macedonia, I was turning people away who wanted to hear the gospel.  I did not have enough hours in the day.

One time an acquaintance of mine came to my house and asked me to tell him about Jesus.  I could not spend time with him that moment and I told him to go and visit Atso, one of the local believers.  He said, “no, I want to hear it from you.”

Imagine someone knocking on your door from the local church in your neighborhood.  How motivated would you be to engage that person?  Now imagine an Arab from the Middle East who lives in your neighborhood knocking on your door.  Wouldn’t you be a little interested in what he had to say?

The Bjorgen Family Left Home

A year ago I met with John and Mel Bjorgen just days before they left for Belize.  Their clarity of focus and desire to set aside personal comforts for the jungle life was truly inspiring.  Their first year has been off the charts crazy including two hurricanes, health challenges requiring surgery, and the birth of their second child by Cesarean.

Celebrating their first anniversary, John wrote last week saying that he had counseled three young men who had made professions of faith in Christ during a recent worship gathering.  Perhaps these three young men would never have had the opportunity to hear the gospel were it not for John and Mel leaving their comfortable setting in the US.

In Mel’s most recent update she was thanking members of short-term teams who had been a great encouragement to her and John during their first year, church members who themselves left their homes to serve cross-culturally.  My experiences and my reading of Scripture tell me that something good happens when we leave home for Jesus Christ.

Jesus Left Home

Jesus himself left his home – twice.  Initially, he left the comfort of his eternal dwelling.  Then he left his hometown of Nazareth, leaving his family, to preach the kingdom of God (Mark 1:16).  Humanly speaking, Jesus was somehow limited at home, not able to use all of his power (Mark 6:5), saying, “prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house” (Mark 6:4).

Does everyone need to leave home?  No – if everyone left there would be no one who could act as senders.  The Lord does set apart certain people to leave their home to carry the good news to another people.  Those who go are unique people with unique experiences and unique needs.  They are called missionaries.

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns” (Isaiah 52:7, NIV)!

Are you a missionary who has left home?  God says you are beautiful.

Are you a pastor who leads a church that sends missionaries?  God says he is using you and the church where you serve for his glory.

Are you a parent whose child wants to leave home to serve God?  Open your heart and the Lord may show you his plan for your son or daughter.

When we leave home, good things happen.  It is God’s way.

Part I of Leaving Home is at the Heart of Mission

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  1. Leaving Home is at the Heart of Mission, Part I « FULFILL - February 24, 2011

    […] Part II of Leaving Home is at the Heart of Mission […]

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