Many times where I am back in the states I am asked, why do it? Why missions? Hasn't the whole world heard the Gospel? It would be easy to answer and say, I answered the call of the Lord or quote Matthew 28:19. It is true that we are called to make disciples of all nations and to preach the good news around the world. But really until the Lord comes there is always someone who needs to hear the good news and there are always new disciples to make. But when people who are in ministry, especially those who work overseas, it cause many of us to ask ourselves questions.
Like, why did I sell my house, leave my family, security, and move 8,000 miles away? Why did I leave the comforts of the US? Why put up with a poor medical system, little or no communication, and to a life of faith in another country? I can not tell you how many times I have entertained these very questions in my mind. In the beginning, when these things crossed my mind, they would weigh very heavy on me. As time went by, my perspecitives have changed. Even though I still ask myself these questions at times, now it does not weigh me down but, helps me focus on the vision.
After a few years on the field, God begin to help me see the Marshall Islands and the pacific from His perspective. The purpose became clearer each and every day. As changes came, the bigger picture began to be more clear to me. I began to understand more and more that you have to take a step each and everyday to get a clearer picture of what God wanted. For Shawn and I, it began as just a Bible school, working with children and strengthening the churches throughout the Marshall Islands. We were here in the beginning to build up and support Marshallese churches.
Then one day, all of that changed once again. Three years ago, when Shawn and I were home together, the Lord spoke to us about a new direction. He dealt with our hearts about working with the English speaking people in the Marshall Islands. Upon our return, before we could do anything, we were contacted about taking over as pastors of the English church in Majuro. Glory to God! He was already working before our return. That was three years ago. From the time of accepting that position, the vision changed again. Now we are now ministering to up to more than eleven nations in the church. The church is a place where we are ministering to those who will go back to other pacific nations with the Gospel of Jesus.
In just a short time, our focus expanded from just the Marshalls Islands to one that not only would touch the pacific but southeast Asia as well. Truly God has something more for us to do in these last days!
Matthew 28:19 (KJV) 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Check back soon for Part II of "Why Do It"!
Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn and family