Discovering a Passion
I was recently asked a question that struck me strangely:
“When did you discover your passion for this work?”
Hadn’t I always had it? No, not really I guess… So after some reflection, here’s a bit of the story of how I arrived at this point.
I was raised in a missions-supporting church with clear teaching about the Great Commission. I took it seriously — and accepted that every church and every christian had the obligation to contribute in some way to its completion. At one stage of my young adulthood, I thought I might spend my career on the mission field. But when my wife and I were married, though both of us were willing to accept a call to the mission field, neither of us really had a sense that that was what God was calling us to yet.
As the years passed, I became disheartened at what I saw of the state of “missions” as I observed it (I didn’t know how limited my view was…). The works I was hearing of were limited in their impact — not likely to move the dial in any measurement of global penetration of the gospel. And much of what passed for “missions” was only remotely (if at all) related to the great commission. Much of it was more humanitarian than missional. Humanitarian works are, of course, admirable and desirable but except as part of a great commission strategy were not “missions” in my view.
What I could support — what I wanted to be involved in — was effective evangelistic ministry among people who would not otherwise have hear the gospel!
But how do you find that? For that kind of work, isn’t it necessary to learn a language, uproot your family, and move to another land to stay long-term? I never felt called to that.
And then, I found this work.
When we came to attend our current church I heard of networks of dozens… hundreds… thousands… of house churches being established in remote areas of one of the most populous, largely unreached, nations in the world. I was skeptical, but I learned that our church participated in short-term trips that were part of that work — so I could go and see for myself!
In my first trip, in 2013, our team of 5 Americans and about 20 national partners presented the gospel to 2400 people. We heard 400 professions of faith. And since that time, 124 house churches have been established in those villages!
This was not an exception either — in the region we visited in 2014 and 2015 there are now 238 house churches. And in the region whe visited in 2016, despite substantial opposition and after only a few weeks of follow-up work, there have already been several house churches established with work ongoing for several more.
This, then, is when I found my “passion” for this work — when I learned that it was possible for ordinary American Christians (like me) to contribute meaningfully to evangelistic ministry among unreached people. And with that discovery — the passion seemed automatic. Why on earth would I NOT long to be part of what God is doing in a work like this?
But what if we were able to do more? More than one trip each year? More churches involved? More participants on the trips? More regions that we could visit?
And so, my longing is to find others who are like I was — believing in the Great Commission but feeling unable to contribute to it — and show them what I’ve find and take them on this adventure with me.
How about you? Join us in one of the upcoming trips?
I’m now working to go full-time with this work. I’ll be working with central Texas churches (more than just the two who’ve been partnering for our current trips) to organize and lead 4-6 teams each year (more than just the one each year I’m currently leading) to any of the nations where my agency goes. It will be a full-time role, and I’m working to raise my full support as a missionary. I’d love to visit with you in-person, by video call over the internet, or by phone to tell you more and invite you to partner with me in this work.
If you want to be a supporter of this ministry, or participate in a trip, and need more information, please send an email to BeautifulFeet@protonmail.com. Please include a way to confirm your identity in your message. This is to protect our ministry partners around the world.