Preparation is Important

They are young, beautiful, smart, committed and very talented. With a committee, I’m listening intently to their story about the last three years. They live in a somewhat closed country, to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a Zoom call but you see and hear their joy, passion and pain as we ask questions and pray.

When they first began preparing themselves to answer God’s call on their lives to serve as missionaries. We wanted to know if they were spiritually, mentally, and physically healthy. Did they understand what they were signing up for? They had an idea of the kinds of pressures and cultural adjustments they would face. Learning how to write and speak a new language is just part of it. They had solid academic backgrounds from respected universities but now they would also embark on a theological education as well. They had to learn to respectfully communicate God’s truth in a remote part of the world.

I enjoyed getting to know them as they were preparing. Talking over coffee, laughing over meals and dreaming about what they are doing now. They were young, cool, beautiful, athletic, and passionate followers of Christ.

Becky and I are grandparents thinking they are younger than our children. I was telling my wife she was all of those things then (young, cool, beautiful, a passionate follower of Christ). She still is by the way! When I was young, well I was young and a passionate follower of Christ. We both understood the call of God though! It was obvious in this couples life and marriage.

Giving up their careers, selling all, following God’s call, and depending upon His faithfulness to them they began itineration. Now three years later, they are more committed than ever.

They prayed, prepared, persevered, and moved to a land to be present with lost people that matter to God. They are learning daily that in ministry we give our best to God but the fruitfulness of our work is in God’s hands. Preparation, perseverance and presence along is not enough. It’s necessary, but it is “God who gives the increase.” (1 Corinthians 3:7)

I look forward to welcoming them home before long. I look forward to having them back at Woodland Church to speak. What’s the lesson in this for all of us?

Our mission field matters too. It is important for us as well to prepare, persevere, and be present in our vocations and ministries. It is important to work with excellence and to excel in giving to support our missionaries. People who give to missions pray for mission.

God rewards the one preparing just as much as He rewards the one serving. Let’s seek to do everything with excellence for the glory of God. Are you preparing for something new? Are you preparing for the next phase of life? It isn’t enough to say, I’m going to trust God. God calls us to prepare ourselves for His glory! (See Proverbs 24:27 and 1 Peter 3:15)


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