"Send me...to the nations of this world"-this is part of a worship song asking God to send us to "preach the Good News to nations. When many come to a personal relationship with Jesus, they become eager to become a missionary overseas. For example, I (Sal) personally wanted to travel around the world-particularly the Philippines where my parents came from before moving to St. Paul, Minnesota.
However, we sometimes look to far and we just need to see what God puts before us. One time in IVCF, a student that went to Urbana shared how she was inspired by a speaker sharing about a car with headlights analogy. When we drive a car at night, we can only see what's before us within the lights coming from the car's headlights. That is how us Christians sometimes need to look as God shines his light on particular people that are reachable within our reach-mission wise.
After 4 plus years of part-time campus ministry work at the University of Minnesota-Morris, I've been trying to do His will in reaching the nations that God sends here.
Just take a look at the demographic population of this campus with the different "minority" student organizations:
ASA-Asian Student Association (Asian/Asian American)
BSU-Black Student Union (African/African American)
CNIA-Circle of Nations Indian Association (Native American Indians)
UL-United Latino (Latino/Hispanic Americans)
ISA-International Student Association (International-Study Broad/Exchange Students
They are all right here! I've had the opportunity to do missions work in Nogales, Sonora-Mexico and a family trip to the Philippines in 2001! After these trips, God kind of tugged my heart that He sent me here to (parents immigrated here in 1973) Minnesota for a reason! I could've been born in the Philippines, but I feel God got me here the way He did to do his work in this college campus community-state-nation! I would love to travel, but I feel that He wants to prepare me "locally" before He sends me "globally"!
God will not give you something that you can't handle, so He want to prepare you before the next "step" or "level" in faith! It's a humble thing-you need to be obedient and patient during the "season of preperation".
Why do missions work? Want to do missions work? Ask God first on who, when, and where?
As these verses above explains, we need to be "called"! Before going on my first mission trip-Mexico 01'-I was praying on when, where, and how? It's a long story, but God provided the finances and worked all the circumstances (timing, finances, mission team, etc..) "perfectly" for me to know that He wanted me to go with some college student from IVCF to Mexico in 2001. Now, God has tugged my heart for the nation of "India". For example, a Christian spoke a "word of prophecy" that I'll someday go to India at a conference called "Hear & Obey". Some friend would later mail me some missionary information on "Gospel for Asia". I can continue to share more "circumstances" directing me to this particular nation. However, I need to be careful on "what I think" because I need to have my eyes open (e.g. headlight story) on what's around me already. God has put Indian-Americans already in my path to "reach-out" too!
Disclaimer: I'm not an "expert" on this (cultural evangelism), so I just want to share what I've done so far. Please feel free to e-mail me any of your personal tips or suggestions to email@example.com. Thanks
"You must be the change the world sees before you can make a difference in the world"-Mahatma Gandhi
Before going out there to "make a difference", you need to do some changes within yourself first. Remember, Jesus didn't start His ministry till he turned 30 years old. Seek after God’s heart to have the same heart-"love God, love your neighbors" (Matthew 22:37-39). We can easily share the Good News with people just simply by being His light! Look how a light bulb gives light. What make it bright? The wattage and the clearer the bulb. Where do we get power or the boldness to share? Through the Holy Spirit (more teaching…)! How does the bulb get clearer? Dusting it to make it shine brighter, so we need to do the same with ourselves-sin-less! Trust God’s Word on this! As an avid reader of the Bible, I try to read it as much as I can and become a doer of it! When I become a doer of His Word, I’ve been able to shine His light more. The more I’m able to shine His light more, the more people around you will be asking question about God-then you’ll be able to share more!
1. Ask God to show you 5 people from different racial/ethnic ("nations") backgrounds that God seem to put in front of you (e.g. headlight story) and write it in a list.
2. Pray for each one regularly (daily, weekly, monthly, etc...) and their particular nation as a whole (e.g. "Jiwon" and "South Korea")
3. Ask God how to build a relationship with them-"friendship evangelism" more ideas..
a. "Getting to know THEM": Look for cultural opportunities (local events: campus/community calender) to "hangout" with them. For example, attend their particular student organization event (e.g. ISA-international students do a yearly "International Supper")
b. "Getting them to know YOU": Invite them to do what you "like to do" (interest/hobby). For example, invite them to your house for supper and go out to something YOU like to do (e.g. soccer is a global sport, so take them to a local soccer game). I personally love baseball, so I took a Korean student to play baseball at Miller Field in Morris one summer
c. "Getting them to know GOD": Pray for opportunities/open door for you to "share" the Good News. For example, invite them to a church activity or event (*reccomended to gradually introduce them to "church") before inviting them to an actual church service-if you know they haven't been to a "church service" before. I personally invited the same Korean student to play for our church softball team, which he did for a whole summer. Later, he did "check-out" one of the services of my local church.
Contact your local church of missionaries they are connected with before going somewhere else in looking for another short-term missions opportunity.
Some examples are:
Evangelical Free Church
Hossana Worship Center
Morris Community Church
I really encourage to use your "God given" network/connections that you already have before going to some missions organization that you don't know or have a personal relationship with!
Motivation behind this site:
I was inspired to finally write about “missions” after attending a Wednesday evening IVCF: “Impact”. It was just the other day, January 28th when I somehow got my shift change at work (2-10p) when I worked for another co-worker this past Sunday 2-10p. I took advantage of this rare opportunity to see what God is doing in IVCF after I haven’t attend a fellowship/worship gathering for awhile (since last semester). Well, I thought it was God’s perfect timing as a student speaking on “missions”. I even prayed during the worship that God will meet each individual present hearing His Word-oh boy-He did! I was so touched that I had to write this homepage early this morning and continue on this evening after I worked both 6-10a & 3-6p. I felt God spoke to me on some issues on mission and re-collected all the resources I’ve gathered in the past .
Unveiling Glory 2002 at Bethany Missions College in Bloomington, MN
Missions Conference, spearheaded by Morris Community Church
Ethnic Harvest, in the Twin Cities in 2003
I would love to share with you many countless testimonies of who God has put in my life to share the Good News with. There is soo…much to share and to much confidentiality at this point of time, so if you really want to hear some-you gotta get a hold of me firstname.lastname@example.org! However, I rather challenge you to come up with your own personal testimonies and e-mail me back!
Do you ever feel you are the only one that is doing what you are doing? Do you ever feel you need to be one that makes a difference in the world? Well, this is a sign that you are too selfish and individualistic! The “Great Commission” is a teamwork “call” for all us “believers” or “children of God” (verse?)! We need to work together with God! This mission work can’t be fulfilled with one individual, one campus student organization, one church congregation, one nation, etc…We need all of us with God! The speaker at this particular IVCF gathering shared how we all have equal parts as we do different parts in sharing the “Good News”, just like…
35Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. 38I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor." -John 4
Just remember, when you share a piece of the “Good News” with somebody-there is a chance that God already used someone else to plant a seed of faith in them already.
Also, here is a cool story after the speaker at IVCF's "Impact"...When I came out of Edson Auditorium, I went to look for a friend of mine to drive home during this "deep freeze" (20 below zero most of the week with -40 below and more wind chills!), God sent me a Native American Indian student I've been "small-chatting" with these couple of years. While I was chatting with him, his friend came over to chat with us. I ended up finding out he was Somolian, which is a current big ethnic refugee group that just immigrated to Minnesota in a big wave the past decade of years or so ago. I thought this was "God divine" to really look into getting the "body of believers" to "reach out" to the nations God is sending "next door" to us!
Come on guys, lets go!
"Newsboys - He Reigns"
"It’s the song of the redeemed
Rising from the African plain
It’s the song of the forgiven
Drowning out the Amazon rain
The song of Asian believers
Filled with God’s holy fire
It’s every tribe, every tongue, every nation
A love song born of a grateful choir"
I became a member of IVCF, a campus student ministry organization after I came to a personal relationship with Jesus in 1996-freshmen year! I grew a lot in my early walk with Christ during my years involvement as a member and later on with the outreach committee my junior year. I then got plugged in with a local church family-Morris Community Church around 1997 when I grew with more of a passion for the “Great Commission”. I would like to thank God for these two faith builders in my life to continue to make me more like Christ today and tomorrow!