traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in
the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom.
healed every kind of disease and illness.
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless,
like sheep without a shepherd.
37 He said to his disciples,
"The harvest is great,
but the workers are few.
38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest;
ask him to send more workers into his fields."
these decades I've lived in the evangelical world, I guess I've heard
this passage used as a catalyst to inspire, challenge, & call people
to overseas missions.
And it's certainly a good one to use.
It should be noted that Jesus spoke these words when He was traveling about his own country.
During the 1970's, my wife, Lynn, was a medical missionary in western Kenya with the Southern Baptist Church.
the 32+ years we've been married, she has often said being a missionary
isn't about location, but about a state of the heart.
If we love & care about the lost, we'll love & care about them wherever we are.
saw folks in the 9 years of her missionary life (& since, too) who
were only missionaries when they were in foreign countries.
That's not the way it works.
Being concerned about the lost isn't something we "do" - it is something we "are" - no matter our location.
overseas doesn't kick in that love & concern - that love &
concern for others should be ever present as our identity.
Jesus said is true - no matter where we find ourselves, we are
surrounded by people who are in a disconnected state with God.
can be at home, in our neighborhood, in the place we work, in the
stores or restaurants or gyms or medical & leisure facilities that
we frequent - in short, everywhere.
And Jesus challenges & calls us to be Him wherever it is we are.
before you think this is a "do as I say, not as I do" kind of thing,
the longer I live, the more I realize how many opportunities I'm given
each day to be Jesus to someone.
Now I'm not suggesting we go around like some "Bible banger" constantly hitting people over the head with the Gospel.
What I am suggesting is that we simply be who we are & let the reality of being a Christ follower come out.
And 1 more thing...
we turn our noses up at the prospect of opening our lives up to people,
where would you or I be if the people who impacted each of us to follow
Jesus had decided it was something they could or would not be & do?