A Broken Heart
What next? That was our question as the reality of becoming missionaries overcame and swept us into a state of fearful excitement and earnestness.
Taylor Creek, our home church, supports many missionaries through ABWE so we began to look there first and quickly decided to pursue our ministry partnership with them. We aligned on Biblical doctrines and philosophically with their view of church planting and evangelism.
After many hours of doctrinal tests, quizzes, testimonies, oral doctrinal exams, and personal references, we were invited and approved to attend the Candidate Seminar in Pennsylvania. It was here that God once again affirmed in our hearts the call to missions work in Cambodia and encouraged us spiritually with like minded men and women who have answered the call to missions from across the country.
At one point, I was given the opportunity to provide a one word description of my time at this conference. My response without hesitation was "brokenhearted". That response was met with furrowed brows and wide-eyed expressions.
"Brokenhearted"? Came the reply..."Please explain."
Throughout the week we were exposed to ministry needs across the globe. Needs that are real and eminent! Places where missionaries are all alone in their work of church planting and evangelism, ministries that need more team members, ministries that just need encouragement! We were provided opportunities to peek into the work of God globally and it was awesome! There were stories of tribes and whole people groups coming to Christ in masses, the Holy Spirit is moving but the laborers are few!
There it is again, that call for more help and seeing the need globally left me brokenhearted and yet motivated to get others excited about the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Another thought rushed over me...one that left me even more brokenhearted. My thoughts lingered and fixated on my home church. Ministries and people who have had a great impact on my life. Friends whom we cherish and ministries we love will be left for those whom we have not met, yet, there is still a pull...still a desire to leave.
Again, my mind wandered and once again left my heart aching...what about the United States? I began to reflect on those whom I had shared the gospel with and the response it received. I was quickly faced with the notion that our own country is in dire need of missionaries as well. Who is carrying the gospel locally? The laborers are few but the work is great!
My broken heart came from the burden for the lost; those who need the light of the gospel. That was my initial thought, but it is more than that. More than just the need for the world to know the Truth of Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection! It was rooted in the need for laborers! Why are they few? Where are God's people? What or for whom are we living?
Brokenhearted...not just for the lost, but for my fellow soldiers in Christ!
I encourage you with this message from Paul:
For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher. For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.