“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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20, ESV).
Ever since I became a Christian several years ago, I was always fascinated with the idea of doing missionary work. From my earliest days of attending my first men’s Bible study, I was captivated by the stories of traveling to faraway countries to share the Gospel. In fact, the couple who helped lead my wife and me to Christ just moved overseas to become full time missionaries in Bosnia. I did not however, expect the type of missionary work that seems to now be unfolding for my family, and it all began with a whisper of the Holy Spirit in my ear one Sunday, and as is usually the case, ends with something much heavier and blunt on the head.
It was a fairly routine Sunday morning at our previous church last summer, and I was serving in my post as head of the ushers and working at our guest services desk. I had a conversation with the woman who coordinated our son’s support services in Sunday school, and she mentioned to me how we needed to be praying for good helpers for him for the coming fall. When I inquired a little more to her about whether or not we had enough help lined up for him, she plainly said no, as most of the high school and college kids who did support him were moving away and such. Normally, this really wouldn’t phase me, as we always had help show up for him, even at the final hour, however this time something struck me as different, like I needed to be paying attention to this. I initially brushed it off and then moved into the sanctuary, as a family we had known for a few years was getting commissioned by our church to be missionary partners in Thailand. I stepped in and stood in the doorway as I watched our lead pastor pray over them in front of the congregation, and as I listened to him describe the nature of the moment, and how God had brought them to our church but now needed to move them on, I really took notice.