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Piece of Clay - Job 33:6
This past Sunday I had the chance to pray with some good friends who are on a journey to another country armed with a map and their Bibles. Prior to their leaving, it was suggested by their sending agency that they write letters to their wives and children . . . “just in case.” The country they are headed to is not exactly friendly to Christians. There are missionaries in the area they are landing in but where they will be traveling and sharing, the best they could be promised was the hope that someone in that region spoke English.
I have been praying since they left and one request has already been answered . . . in the negative. One of the men was refused at customs and ordered out of the country. The other two made it through and are about the work. How about it church? Spend a day and a half on a plane only to be ordered out of the country and placed back on the plane and sent right back home. Is that a waste of time, money and planning? Should my friend and his partners be discouraged? What of the missionaries there that were expecting and needing the help? What of the national pastors that were looking for help in establishing a work that really can only be done by “tourists” to their area? Did the plan of God fail in this instance?
My wife and I were texting about this event this morning and she was distraught. She did not like the idea that our friend was banned from entering a country for simply wanting to tell others about Jesus. When I told her that the other two men got through customs and are now doing the work her reply got me to thinking, “That’s good”.
Sounds odd, right? “That’s good”. Two laymen from a local church neither with much training on the field have been set down in a foreign land and are told to go find an interpreter. “That’s good”? Yes, it is good. Scary, but good. Good in that the gospel is being shared. Good that my friend was left let go. The last time this happened, he was detained by the same government. Good that others are inspired to go on other trips. Good that my friend has already texted asking about other places to go and serve. Good that his wife and children want to go next time. Good that God still gets the glory over a “failed” trip in that two brothers are still walking and talking and sharing Jesus in a dark place.
Yet the question is always asked – why? Why go to the trouble? Why face the danger? Why not stay here? Why not the people around us locally that need Jesus? All good thoughts that need good answers. First and foremost, . . . because Jesus is worth it and He commanded us to go. Furthermore, with all of our churches throughout our part of the state, rising up workers for the needs here should never be a problem. It is enough for us to settle on the answer that we will never come across a man, woman or child that does not need Jesus. Whether we are on an airplane with a passport or sitting in our own living rooms, we have a Savior to share.