However, there is another even greater and more exciting mission trip that we all can participate in. It can take place right in our own backyard, with the neighbor across the street, at work, or even in another country. The difference is that we are going because we know in our hearts that the Lord is sending us.
No, He is not requesting us to go - He is commanding us to go just as He commanded His disciples to go many years ago. We read in Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
In Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
And He even tells us what we should be telling those who are lost, as we read in Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
We know He is talking to His disciples, but I believe, with even greater urgency, He is calling us today. What an honor to be among those called! What a privilege to be among those being sent and entrusted with the salvation message!
Sadly to say, many are not answering His call. How about you? Are you among the called who are not responding? You might ask, "How can I be certain it is God calling me? As a Christian, we are all called. The only question you need to be concerned about is, "What does the Lord want you to be doing?" And if you know, "Are you doing it? If not, why not? Time is short! As Jesus said, "I must be about my Father's business."
And so must I…
Here are some of the highlights of my 81 years of walking with the Lord here on this earth. Hopefully, by reading my story, you can move forward with an even greater confidence that you are in step with the Lord and doing and accomplishing for Him, and Him alone, what He has called you to accomplish during your lifetime on this earth.
I was born in Minnesota on July 14, 1932. Our church was only about a half mile down the road from my parents farm. This was the Depression Era and times were very hard. Going to Sunday school and church were a very important and special part of our week. It was a special time of encouragement in the Lord. Most of the surrounding farmers in the area attended the same church.
When we went to church our shoes were polished, our hair was trimmed and we dressed in our very best to honor the Lord for His faithfulness in providing for us. The women wore hats and the men took off their hats in respect to the Lord.
After our church service, it was a time of fellowship and sharing the week's latest news with our friends and fellow Christians.
For two years during 1945 and 1946, I spent five hours in our church Bible school every Saturday studying and memorizing Scriptures from the Bible. I was confirmed in 1946 and became a member of the church. I now could partake of the Lord's Supper.
I immediately began working with Mrs. Ackerman, our pastor's wife. I learned how to teach the little children in the Sunday School. The following year when I was 14, I had my own class of little ones to teach which I did until I graduated from high school and went on to college.
Every summer during my teens, I spent a week at our Church Bible Camp and later at Leadership Camp. At one of these youth services, something happened that I did not understand at the time.
We were singing "Living for Jesus, a Life That Is True" when I saw myself dressed in white, circled by children and adults with skin of various shades. I did not realize it was a vision. I started crying and could not stop. This happened about 65 years ago but it was so impressed in me, the picture remains in my mind.
After I graduated from high school, I felt I should go on to college at one of our churches' Bible colleges. Since I did not drive or have any experience of working for others, I had to depend on my father and mother to provide the funds I needed to continue. The first college I chose, my father said it was too far from home. The second college I chose, my dad knew people who had graduated from that school who were not living like God's children, so he disapproved of that one too. Then our pastor came to try to help me with my father. He even offered me financial help from the church, but to no avail. The door was closed.
I was stopped from moving forward in what I felt I was to do. Today, a student can strike out on his or her own. It was not like that in 1950. Everything in my life came to a sudden halt.
Thirty-six years later, after raising four children and my husband had gone on to glory, the urge to do something for the Lord became a priority in my life once again. It was 1986 and I was 54 years old. I studied the Bible and became an EMA minister in 1989. Yet, no great doors of ministry were open to me.
I kept reminding the Lord that I was not getting any younger, but still nothing happened. Then in 1991, Dr. Ford sent out a letter to all EMA minsters inviting them to a seminar. I read the invitation and noticed that one of Dr.Ford's seminars was gong to be very close to my town, but as yet, I had not decided to go. I laid the paper on the counter and walked away.
Then the Lord told me to go to the seminar and He would show me the minister I was to work with. Five ministers were going to participate in the meeting and I had never met any of them. Who would the Lord point out? I could hardly wait for the day to come.
The day finally came. The meeting was half over and we were on break. I was returning to the assembly area when Brother Ford walked through the door. God spoke and said, "That is the man you are to work with." When the moment finally came, I nearly froze on the spot.
When I shared with Brother Ford what the Lord had told me, he was not certain he wanted to work with me either. The reason being, he had just gone through losing someone that was not doing the job. Here I was offering to come and help when I could not type and knew nothing about a computer. In fact, I had never worked in an office. I did not have much to offer, but I was obeying the Lord in at least trying. We finely agreed to give it a try. That will be 22 years ago on this October 1, 2013.
Since that time, I have had the opportunity to learn to type, use the computer and other office equipment.
Since joining Brother Ford, I have traveled over much of Europe which includes Romania, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Hungary, Holland and Greece. I lived, worked and taught the Bible in the Ukraine for over three years.
I also visited and ministered in South Africa, Lesotho, Nigeria, Ghana and Israel.
Finally, I spent time in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and the Miskito Indians in upper Nicaragua.
I spent more than three years in Nicaragua where I was blessed to start a school in the city of El Crucero and introduce Jesus to more than a thousand men, women and children. Can it get better than that?
John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
Yes, Jesus has a plan for each one of us. Do you know your plan? Are you busy working the Lord's plan for your life? I hope so! It is a wonderful blessing to be about our Father's business.