One more thing that sticks out in my mind from this brief trip. Most of the time I never see the people who clean the hotel room, but this time because I was working my usual schedule I got to speak with "Mary" several times. She seemed to be about my age, but maybe a lot harder life than I've had to deal with. On Sunday, I had a little more chance to talk to her. What she told me in that conversation has lodged in my brain.
The first thing she said was that she knew I would be nice when she saw my Bible in the room. I guess a lot of hotel guests aren't. She told me a couple of stories. But the thing I reallly want to remember about her is what she said next.
She said, "My goal is to learn to read so I can read the Bible." As we talked some more, it was clear that she had placed her faith in Jesus, but now she wanted to be able to read his words for herself. I thought about how saturated we are with Bibles in the churches in this country, and about how little we sometimes value these riches. I thought about how many people there are in the world — and right here in this country — who would love to have a Bible to read or who have set themselves the goal of learning how to read so that they can read the words of God for themselves. And I wondered if this was how education became a thing for the common people. I've read somewhere that where the Gospel has come to an illiterate culture, education isn't far behind.
A week from today I'll have the great privilege of taking God's word to people who can read, but don't have the ready access to Bibles that we do. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my blessings.
What goal have you set for yourself?by beakennedy
Since I seldom have anything REALLY profound of my own to say, here’s some stuff on missions that I like:
Mission was, in the early stages, more than a mere function; it was a fundamental expression of the life of the church. The beginnings of a missionary theology are therefore also the beginnings of Christian theology as such. Heinrich Kasting
You hear it a thousand times and more growing up in the East–”We all come through different routes and end up in the same place.” But I say to you, God is not a place or an experience or a feeling. Pluralistic cultures are beguiled by the cosmetically courteous idea that sincerity or privilege of birth is all that counts and that truth is subject to the beholder. In no other discipline of life can one be so naive as to claim inherited belief or insistent belief as the sole determiner of truth. Why, then, do we make the catastrophic error of thinking that all religions are right and that it does not matter whether the claims they make are objectively true?
All religions are not the same. All religions do not point to God. All religions do not say that all religions are the same. At the heart of every religion is an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is or is not and accordingly, of defining life’s purpose.
Anyone who claims that all religions are the same betrays not only an ignorance of all religions but also a caricatured view of even the best-known ones. Every religions is at its core exclusive. Ravi Zacharias, Jesus Among Other Gods
The calling of the church in every culture is to be mission. That is, the work of the church is not to be an agent or servant of the culture. The church’s business is not to maintain freedom or to promote wealth or to help a political party or to serve as the moral guide to culture. The church’s mission is to be the presence of the kingdom. . . . The church’s mission is to show the world what it looks like when a community of people live under the reign of God. Robert Webber
Just as one could not speak of the church without speaking of its mission, it was impossible to think of the church without thinking, in the same breath, of the world to which it is sent. David Bosch
Kingdom people seek first the Kingdom of God and its justice; church people often put church work above concerns of justice, mercy and truth. Church people think about how to get people into the church; Kingdom people think about how to get the church into the world. Church people worry that the world might change the church; Kingdom people work to see the church change the world. Howard Snyder
God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. J. Hudson Taylor
It is far easier for churches to give thousands of dollars than to find one of their members who will walk into the slums for a decade. Viv Grigg
There are no closed countries if you do not expect to come back. Larry Poston
The church exists by missions like fire exists by burning. Emil Brunner
No man is a fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot
Mission is the very lifeblood of the church. As the body cannot survive without blood, so the church cannot survive without mission. . . As the physical body becomes weak without sufficient oxygen-carrying red blood cells, so the church becomes anemic if it does not express its faith. . . An unexpressed faith withers. A Christian fellowship without mission loses its vitality. Mission is the force that gives the body of Christ vibrancy, purpose, and direction. When the church neglects its role as God’s agent for mission, it is actually neglecting its own lifeblood. Gailyn Van Rheenen
There is nothing in the world — except the Church’s disobedience — to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility. Robert Speer
We can reach our world, if we will. The greatest lack today is not people or funds. The greatest need is prayer. Wesley Duewel