Why I Do Mission Work — And Why I Hope
You Will Join Me
August 30, 2018
By Dr. Carey Akin, Pastor of Missions
First of all, it needs to be said up front that it doesn’t feel like work to me. As a matter of fact, serving and sharing the love of God in our community and around the globe makes me feel as full of life as anything I have ever done, but that is not the main reason I do it. I do it because it is a calling. When I say it’s a calling, I don’t only mean that God has called me to work in Missions as my life work. As disciples and followers of Jesus Christ, we are all called to go to the world and help the least. (Matt. 25:40). We are called to go out to them and share the good news so there will be a harvest for the kingdom of God. (Luke 10:2). We are called to find the lost and bring them home to the place they belong, with their Father and rejoice (Luke 15). But that is just the beginning of my “why!”
Although there are clear biblical reasons to be in mission to the world, it occurred to me the other day that once people experience God’s mission in the world, it goes from being a “have to” (a command) to “a want to” (a blessing). Those who have shared in missions here at the church understand what I am talking about and they wouldn’t have it any other way!
As we serve, share, care, and love, we see the light of Christ shine out to others as it burns even brighter in us! Just a few examples from my personal experience:
This past January we once again invited the homeless into our church home and were blessed as we shared with one another and saw church members, adults and children, break down barriers and stereotypes and share genuine love and concern from one human being to another in the name of Christ.
In April we joined a team of manly men (at least they thought they were) to go to a remote village in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia. In addition to powerful times of devotion and sharing, we had a chance to go to a village at 14,000 feet that no team has ever worked in before. They said they felt “forgotten,” but thanks to the team from Mt. Bethel and our partner SIFAT (Servant in Faith and Technology), they said that they no longer felt forgotten as we helped them clear a very small mud hut to begin work on a new building to be used to provide medical care.
In the spring we saw God’s light burn bright as high school seniors from our church shared their lives and love with the girls of Deborah House, a home for young ladies who have been abused. This home is a place where they receive love and care until the darkness they feel gives way to the light of Christ! As the young ladies from Mt. Bethel go off to college and we see their posts on Facebook and Instagram, I am thankful for what God did in them in Romania and the light they will share on college campuses all over the U.S.
On an almost daily basis, we receive messages from Egypt and Sudan giving thanks, asking for prayer, and sharing about our life and family as young Christian leaders throughout that region strive to share the love of Christ with a passion that is truly inspiring. All of these conversations and testimonies were a result of the relationships formed as we had the privilege to train these enthusiastic Christians at an ILI conference in Cairo, Egypt. And when we say enthusiastic, that doesn’t begin to describe our incredible times of worship!
In Kenya, in the latter half of June, we joined a mission from Mt. Bethel and Frazier Memorial as we served with Project 82 in Molo and Nanyuki. After having just left Egypt, to feel the joy of the Kenyans we shared in ministry with (pastors, guardians, church members, children, and babies) was simply overwhelming. And once again, like so many mission teams before, I was deeply touched by the relationships that formed with team members who were experiencing life and ministry in Kenya for the first time.
For every life-giving thing we have shared with you in 2018, there are many more that could be shared with you, from hundreds of others who have served in our community and have gone with mission teams in the U.S. and globally to share the love of Christ and to be blessed by the lives of those they served.
There are many others in our church who have been blessed, not just by serving through our mission partners, but through sharing the love of God at work or in school or as they walk through their daily lives.
So why do I do mission work? Because when God has done so much for you, you want to do for someone else. Because when you care for someone else, the blessing comes back to you. Because the God who created us knows what we were made for. And when we go out in His name, and through the power of His Spirit, what we once called our life pales in comparison to the new life that God creates in us. And then He uses us to bring new life to others.
If you are in mission for God, let’s keep the fire burning. But if you have never found the time or felt the call–or simply never had much interest–I invite you to come along! Those who have taken the challenge and decided to go will tell you: you experience God’s best and are His best when you go out into your neighborhood, your community, and His world and share His love and His Good News! It just doesn’t get any better!
P.S. If you read this and you think you want to take another step in missions, give me a call, and we will help you on the journey!