Luke 10:25-37 – On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denariiand gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
This is the second year that God has blessed me with the opportunity to take a missions trip to Peru. While this is not a dangerous trip like many other countries can be, this is a great opportunity for the people going to get an idea of what missions work is about.
God calls us into all the world. Some have been given the opportunity to go overseas. Others are called to perform mission work here at home in the USA. If you have never done missions work, it is very easy to get started. I’d like to take this article and give you some ideas.
1) Get connected with your church. Most churches have some sort of missions work going on, whether in their own community or across the world. If you are not connected with a church, that is the first thing you need to do. God not only calls us into all the world, but He calls us into fellowship with Him and other Christians.
2) Local opportunities
a. Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse takes their calling after the story of the good Samaritan in the book of Luke. There are countless ways to work through them, whether it is by donating money by purchasing gifts from them or doing hands-on volunteering. Their website is found here: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/volunteer/
b. World Vision. The mission statement of World Vision puts it best, “World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.” They can be found here: http://www.worldvisionusprograms.org/us_missions.php
c. Christian Disaster Response. This organization works with national relief organizations and local churches to create response teams that will support communities that have gone through a disaster. Their website is found here: http://www.cdresponse.org/index.php
3) International Opportunities
a. The International Mission Board. If you are feeling the call for long term missions work, then the International Mission Board is the place to start. Taking their cue from Isaiah 6:8, their goal is to make disciples by serving communities all around the world. There are still over 1.7 BILLION people who have little or no access to the Gospel. They can be found here: http://www.imb.org/main/pageabout.asp?StoryID=4528&LanguageID=1709
b. S.I.M. This stands for Serving In Mission, another long term missions organization. This is an organization that works to train up indigenous missionaries. They can be found here: http://www.sim.org/index.php/
c. Teen Missions International. This is an organization that prepares to send high school and college age students on missions trips around the world. Almost all of the trips are safe for kids, so parents don’t need to be worried. These are great opportunities for summer fun for the whole family. They last typically about 6-8 weeks, so you ‘ll be back in time to go to school! They can be found here: http://www.teenmissions.org/
There are countless other organizations which are able to organize mission trips for you or your family. But there is one thing that is very important to understand, you do not go to party, meet boys or girls, or even to build houses. The chief purpose for missions work is to proclaim the gospel of Christ. It is our job to go into all the world and make disciples of all. That is the missionary’s primary focus. If you go with any other idea in mind, then you are going for the wrong reasons.
Pray about it. If not for this summer, then start planning something for next summer. Connect with your local church first. If they don’t have something that intrigues you, then look at the surrounding churches. The internet is also a great option.
Throughout this week I will be posting random pictures from Peru and the occasional story or two so keep checking back all week. I look forward to hearing your stories as you start your journey into proclaiming God’s Word throughout all the world.