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Reflections on Missions




I used to think of Missions as going out to distant shores and foreign cultures, to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth.


Whilst that may be so, and Christ’s mandate is that we reach out to the unreached wherever they may be, there is also a place for local missions; crossing racial, religious and cultural boundaries.


Being a double minority in my country which is a tiny kingdom, the majority in my community are of a different faith and legally, out of bounds for any kind of evangelism.

Notwithstanding the clear limitations, I see in the Old Testament many examples of men and women, who were minorities and exiles who lived out lives of faithful witness. Characters such as Joseph, Daniel, Esther and Nehemiah come to mind.

What does Missions look like in the local context?


Let me suggest 4 areas,

1.    Look: Observe/Perceive those in the community different from you, that you come in contact with. It could be someone from the “majority”, or even a  migrant worker from a different faith and culture. Recognize that they too are in need of the one and living God, as made known through His son Jesus.


2.    Listen: Enter into Relationship/Conversation with them. Ask questions, just like how Jesus did with the Samaritan woman at the well. Every encounter is first and foremost both personal and authentic.


It is only when we engage in conversations, ask questions and listen; that we gain understanding and also their trust. It opens up opportunities to share our stories of God’s goodness in our lives.


3.    Love: In Matthew 9:6, we are told that when Jesus saw the crowds with their various needs, he had compassion on them. May the Spirit guide us as we enter into conversations with those of other faiths, discerning their needs, and loving them while having the wisdom to respond appropriately. May the Spirit teach us how to pray for and love those that He has placed on our hearts, while dealing with any prejudices that we may have.


4.    Live out: Central to our witness as an ethnic and religious minority, is how we live out our faith. In 1 Peter 2:11-12, the apostle Peter said that as God’s people and exiles on this earth, we are to live distinct and exemplary lives. “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God…”. Our witness above all needs to be visibly lived out, so that the unreached within our midst may see and be drawn to Him, in spite of the limitations.

 

Whether it be through visitations to the sick or during festive periods, meeting up over meals or coffee, showing kindness to the less privileged, our interactions with our colleagues in the workplace, maintaining integrity at all times; may our witness model our Incarnate Christ and his creativity. May the Holy Spirit be our helper as we sow the seeds of friendships and trust; so that in His time, more will come to a saving knowledge of the One who is the Savior of our world.

 

 

 

 

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