I will never forget how I felt staring out the window of the airplane as we took off. As my friends and I began our journey to take the gospel into a closed country, the gravity of it all hit me. These nine guys had decided to join me on this mission trip, and we had no idea what was awaiting us.
Trying to get my mind relaxed, I opened up my bag and found an envelope full of letters from the church. Different people had written a note for every day of the trip. I opened the first one up and was floored with what I read:
“Travis, I am praying for you. I can’t imagine how you feel right now. Just to think: the same call Jesus once gave the disciples is the same call he has given you. You are going out and sharing the gospel to people who have never heard it. You are traveling with the message of Jesus where it has not been taken yet. You are continuing what Jesus commanded the original disciples to do (Matt. 28:18-20). You are doing the type of stuff mentioned in the Book of Acts. How incredible is that? You have the same call!”
As these words provided encouragement to me, they also reinforced the weight of this moment. I had been called by the Almighty God for this mission.
God Has Called Us
Called. Such a short yet profound word used in Scripture.
“After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” -Acts 16:10 (NIV)
After looking up “call” in the dictionary, I found definitions such as “to summon” and “to give the command for.” However, the most meaningful definition to me was in relation to God’s call to us when we become Christians. It states that “an effectual (fully adequate) call is internal, and is the result of the enlightening and sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit, effectively drawing men to Christ, and disposing and enabling them to receive the truth.”
When we became Christians, God put a call on our lives. And His Spirit, which is in us, has made us fully adequate to draw men to Christ!
In Acts 16:1-13, we read that Paul had a vision about a man asking him to come help the people of Macedonia. What did the people traveling with Paul do when they heard his vision? It says that they “got ready at once!” They didn’t sit around and wait to make sure it was a good idea or to make sure that Paul wasn’t just dreaming up random ideas. They didn’t sit around and have a prayer meeting to see if God really wanted them to go or not.
One call was enough. They heard the message loud and clear.
They went because they “concluded that God had called them to preach the gospel” to the people there!
Notice that they ran a “straight course” (Acts 16:11) to where they were called. Nothing deterred them. Nothing could steal their glance from reaching their goal. All they were sure of was that people were in need. And they knew what they needed. His name is Jesus.
Going On a Mission Trip?
We are so blessed to have commissioned many young adults to the mission field for the summer. We also have a few more teams to send out in the weeks to come. We are nearing sending out some for an extended period of time.
Maybe you are getting ready to go on a mission trip yourself. Maybe you have a loved one going and you are fighting anxiousness.
Whatever your situation is, you might be wondering why go on mission trips at all. Why do we go? Because God is calling us!
The people of this world are in desperate need and God is calling us to do something about it.
It means that we too have been given a vision. Not a vision in a dream, but one that God put in our hearts when he said to “make disciples of all nations.” So it’s time to get ready! We have a job to do. God is calling, and it’s our responsibility to answer.
Are you a little nervous? You can’t speak the language except for a few greetings. You don’t know the customs. You’re a tad bit concerned about the food that you may be forced to eat. You don’t know if you are going to make it on this plane ride without having a panic attack due to closed in spaces and unfamiliar faces. You’re wondering, how am I going to even relate or witness to someone on this trip anyway?
With all those things going against you, still you have one thing going for you: you have been called.
God never calls the equipped, He equips the called.
You should feel honored to be in the same calling as the disciples in the Book of Acts. You get the immense privilege to speak the name of Jesus for the first time to some of God’s loved creation. We have the power of the Holy Spirit in us, and we’ve been fully equipped to do our job.
Remember this, and when you go, he will be with you always!
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
Isaiah 49:6 he says:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
I will make you as a light for the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”