Friday, May 24, 2013

Travel to God Forsaken Places

“Young man, sit down. When God pleases to convert the heathen, He will do it without your aid or mine.”---Biography of William Carey

“Why go there? Why would you choose to go to that God forsaken place? Don’t catch Malaria! I mean I respect the people that go to those places but I’ve no desire to go.” We are visiting Guatemala to spend time with some Christ following missionaries and to see if God is moving us into missions. There are two opinions one hears when travelling to places that are far off the tourism grid. People are either excited because you are going to have an adventure or they think it a waste of time and finances.

The call to missions is not a call to comfort though certainly it is a call to adventure. I sympathize with my neighbor. If my wife and I were not seeking to serve Christ we certainly would choose luxury and fine-dining over wet weather in the Mayan highlands. We didn’t verify the comfort of the sleeping arrangements nor the quality of food on Trip Advisor. We were challenged to go and we are going.

In his book, Radical, David Platt explores a variety of claims about our purpose in life “that are contained in the Gospel yet contradicted by the American Dream. Claims such as these: Real success is found in radical sacrifice. Ultimate satisfaction is found not in making much of ourselves but in making much of God….Ultimately Jesus is a reward worth risking everything to know, experience and enjoy.” Platt challenges his readers to spend a year ‘to radically alter the remainder of your life.’ One component of this is to: Spend time in another context. This works out to be 2% of one year or about one week sharing the gospel in a different context.

Through prayer and networking God has led thus far to the “God forsaken” country of Guatemala. We didn’t have the desire to go anyplace initially. Enlisting in the adventure has been (and we trust will continue to be) a lesson in listening and following God. We hope it will be ultimately satisfying. We know that the cost is worth it.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” ---Jim Elliot

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